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HPB Surgery
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6839687, 15 pages
Review Article

Pancreatic Cancer: 80 Years of Surgery—Percentage and Repetitions

The Medical Clinic, Álfheimum 74, 104 Reykjavik, Iceland

Received 5 April 2016; Accepted 1 June 2016

Academic Editor: Pablo Ramírez

Copyright © 2016 Birgir Gudjonsson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The incidence of pancreatic cancer is estimated to be 48,960 in 2015 in the US and projected to become the second and third leading causes of cancer-related deaths by 2030. The mean costs in 2015 may be assumed to be $79,800 per patient and for each resection $164,100. Attempt is made to evaluate the results over the last 80 years, the number of survivors, and the overall survival percentage. Methods. Altogether 1230 papers have been found which deal with resections and reveal survival information. Only 621 of these report 5-year survivors. Reservation about surgery was first expressed in 1964 and five-year survival of nonresected survivors is well documented. Results. The survival percentage depends not only on the number of survivors but also on the subset from which it is calculated. Since the 1980s the papers have mainly reported the number of resections and survival as actuarial percentages, with or without the actual number of survivors being reported. The actuarial percentage is on average 2.75 higher. Detailed information on the original group (TN), number of resections, and actual number of survivors is reported in only 10.6% of the papers. Repetition occurs when the patients from a certain year are reported several times from the same institution or include survivors from many institutions or countries. Each 5-year survivor may be reported several times. Conclusion. Assuming a 10% resection rate and correcting for repetitions and the life table percentage the overall actual survival rate is hardly more than 0.3%.