Treatment patterns and outcomes in pancreatic cancer: Retrospective claims analysis

Yunes Doleh, Lincy S. Lal, Cori Blauer-Petersen, Giovanni Antico, Michael Pishvaian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Pancreatic cancer represents the third leading cause of US cancer deaths, with median survival <1 year. The goal of this study was to describe systemic treatments, healthcare utilization and costs, and overall survival among patients with unresectable/metastatic disease. Methods: This study used healthcare claims for commercial and Medicare Advantage enrollees diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma (at index date) during January 01 2010 to 31 May 2017. Included patients were aged ≥18 years, with continuous 6-month preindex enrollment. Patients were excluded by resectable disease, another primary cancer, or pregnancy. Cohorts were based on first-line (LOT1) chemotherapy regimen. Results: Overall, 12 978 patients (mean age 70 years, 51% male) were included, among which 5610 (43%) received chemotherapy. Of those, 23% received gemcitabine monotherapy, 22% gemcitabine-nab paclitaxel, 22% FOLFIRINOX, 3% FOLFOX, and 29% received other regimens. Mean LOT1 duration was 112 days; 60% did not undergo subsequent lines of therapy. Moreover, 50% of patients had an emergency room visit and 45% were hospitalized during LOT1. Among treated and untreated patients, mean total 6-month costs were $52 101. We found that patients receiving FOLFIRINOX had the highest costs, whereas those who received gemcitabine monotherapy had the lowest. Median overall survival (mOS) was 335 days with any first-line treatment. FOLFIRINOX-treated patients had the highest mOS (492 days), whereas gemcitabine monotherapy-treated patients had the lowest (223 days). Conclusions: A large proportion (57%) of patients with unresectable/metastatic pancreatic cancer did not receive chemotherapy. Healthcare costs were higher for fluorouracil-based regimens, while lower for gemcitabine-based regimens. Survival rates were within expectations for advanced pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3463-3476
Number of pages14
JournalCancer medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer survival
  • healthcare costs
  • healthcare utilization
  • pancreatic cancer
  • retrospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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