Survival of cancer survivors with a new pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Sandi L. Pruitt, Anna Tavakkoli, Hong Zhu, Daniel F. Heitjan, David E. Gerber, Amit G. Singal, Ethan A Halm, Muhammad S Beg, Bhumika Maddineni, Ankit Kansagra, Caitlin Claffey Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Persons newly diagnosed with pancreas cancer and who have survived a previous cancer are often excluded from clinical trials, despite limited evidence about their prognosis. We examined the association between previous cancer and overall survival. Methods: This US population-based cohort study included older adults (aged ≥66 years) diagnosed with pancreas cancer between 2005 and 2015 in the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate stage-specific effects of previous cancer on overall survival, adjusting for sociodemographic, treatment, and tumor characteristics. Results: Of 32,783 patients, 18.7% were previously diagnosed with another cancer. The most common previous cancers included prostate (29.0%), breast (18.9%), or colorectal (9.7%) cancer. More than half of previous cancers (53.9%) were diagnosed 5 or more years prior to pancreas cancer diagnosis or at an in situ or localized stage (47.8%). The proportions of patients surviving 1, 3, and 5 years after pancreas cancer were nearly identical for those with and without previous cancer. Median survival in months was as follows for those with and without previous cancer respectively: 7 versus 8 (Stage 0/I), 10 versus 10 (Stage II), 7 versus 7 (Stage III), and 3 versus 2 (Stage IV). Cox models indicated that patients with previous cancer had very similar or statistically equivalent survival to those with no previous cancer. Conclusions: Given nearly equivalent survival compared to those without previous cancer, cancer survivors newly diagnosed with pancreas cancer should be considered for inclusion in pancreas cancer clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-212
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • clinical trials
  • multiple malignancies
  • pancreas cancer
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Survival of cancer survivors with a new pancreatic cancer diagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this