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Pancreas. 2009 Apr;38(3):289-92. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e318192eb9b.

Non-surgical tissue biopsy among patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: effect on survival.

Author information

  • 1Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. lhernan@mcw.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim was to determine the survival of patients with advanced, unresectable pancreatic cancer in relation to whether they underwent nonsurgical biopsy of their primary tumor.

METHODS:

A total of 1481 patients with distant stage pancreatic cancer diagnosed between 1992 and 2001 who underwent radiation treatment but not cancer-directed surgery were analyzed. The design is a retrospective cohort study from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the US National Cancer Institute. Survival curves were created using Kaplan-Meier method and compared via log-rank test.

RESULTS:

Of 1481 patients (median age, 66 years) included in our analysis, 1406 (95%) underwent nonsurgical biopsy (95%) and 75 (5%) did not. There was no statistically significant difference in overall median survival according to receipt of nonsurgical biopsy (Kaplan-Meier curve, log-rank test = 0.09). A subgroup analysis of patients younger than 65 years who did not undergo biopsy revealed a hazard ratio of 1.76 (95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.72); that is, there was a 76% higher hazard for death among younger patients who did not undergo biopsy compared with those who did (P = 0.011).

CONCLUSION:

Nonsurgical biopsy did not seem to negatively impact survival among patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

PMID:
19136909
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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