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Survival from pancreatic cancer: it’s not just about the surgical mortality

Robert T A Padbury
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (8): 491-492. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10545
Published online: 7 May 2012

Has the time come to form specialised centres for complex surgical procedures?

The article by Speer and colleagues in this issue of the Journal reporting outcomes in patients undergoing pancreatectomy for pancreatic cancer in Victoria in 2002–2003 indicates the poor outcome for this condition on a population basis.1 Consistent with international series are the observations that only a small percentage (10%–15%) of patients have resectable disease at diagnosis; that survival is significantly improved by obtaining a clear margin; that the median survival is relatively short after resection; and that long-term cure is rare, with even some of the small number of 5-year survivors relapsing after this milestone.

  • Robert T A Padbury

  • Division of Surgical and Specialty Services, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.


Competing interests:

I am Past President and a current Board member of the ANZHPBA, a member of the ESPAC-3 study group, and Secretary General Elect of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.

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