Population-based impact of COVID-19 on incidence, treatment, and survival of patients with pancreatic cancer

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Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has put substantial strain on the healthcare system of which the effects are only partly elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the impact on pancreatic cancer care. Methods: All patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 2017 and 2020 were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Patients diagnosed and/or treated in 2020 were compared to 2017–2019. Monthly incidence was calculated. Patient, tumor and treatment characteristics were analyzed and compared using Chi-squared tests. Survival data was analyzed using Kaplan–Meier and Log-rank tests. Results: In total, 11019 patients were assessed. The incidence in quarter (Q)2 of 2020 was comparable with that in Q2 of 2017–2019 (p = 0.804). However, the incidence increased in Q4 of 2020 (p = 0.031), mainly due to a higher incidence of metastatic disease (p = 0.010). Baseline characteristics, surgical resection (15% vs 16%; p = 0.466) and palliative systemic therapy rates (23% vs 24%; p = 0.183) were comparable. In 2020, more surgically treated patients received (neo)adjuvant treatment compared to 2017–2019 (73% vs 67%; p = 0.041). Median overall survival was comparable (3.8 vs 3.8 months; p = 0.065). Conclusion: This nationwide study found a minor impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pancreatic cancer care and outcome. The Dutch health care system was apparently able to maintain essential care for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1202
Number of pages8
JournalHPB
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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