Impact of multicentre diagnostic workup in patients with pancreatic cancer on repeated diagnostic investigations, time-to-diagnosis and time-to-treatment: A nationwide analysis

Jana S Hopstaken*, Pauline A J Vissers, Rutger Quispel, Judith de Vos-Geelen, Lodewijk A A Brosens, Ignace H J T de Hingh, Lydia G van der Geest, Marc G Besselink, Kees J H M van Laarhoven, Martijn W J Stommel*, Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group

*Corresponding author for this work

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BACKGROUND: Due to the centralization of pancreatic surgery, patients with suspected pancreatic cancer may undergo diagnostic workup in both a non-pancreatic centre and a pancreatic centre, i.e. multicentre workup. This retrospective study assessed whether multicentre diagnostic workup is associated with repeated diagnostics, delayed time-to-diagnosis, delayed time-to-treatment, survival and whether variation existed among pancreatic cancer networks.

METHODS: This nationwide study included all patients diagnosed with non-metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in 2015, registered by the Netherlands Cancer Registry. A delayed time-to-diagnosis was defined as ≥3 weeks from initial hospital visit to final diagnosis. A delayed time-to-treatment was defined as ≥6 weeks from the first hospital visit to start of first tumour treatment. Multilevel logistic regression analyses and survival analyses were performed.

RESULTS: In total, 931 patients with non-metastatic PDAC were included. Overall, 175 patients (19%) underwent a multicentre diagnostic workup, which was significantly associated with repeated diagnostic investigations (OR = 6.31, 95% CI 4.13-9.64, P < 0.0001), a delayed time-to-diagnosis (OR = 2.66 95% CI 1.74-4.06, P < 0.001), and a delayed time-to-treatment (OR = 1.93 95% CI 1.12-3.31, P = 0.02), but not with decreased survival (HR = 1.09 95% CI 0.83-1.44; P = 0.532). Variation in outcomes per network was observed, especially for time-to-treatment, though the ICC was not statistically significant (P = 0.065).

CONCLUSION: Multicentre diagnostic workup for patients with PDAC is associated with repeated diagnostic investigations, a delayed time-to-diagnosis and delayed time-to-treatment compared to patients with monocentre workup. To reduce costs and improve treatment times, efforts should be made to improve network coordination, for example via network care pathways.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2022

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