Early Onset Pancreatic Cancer – comparison against matched controls
Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PC) represents the fourth cause of death in cancer and with a 5-year survival rate reported less than 1-2 %. Early onset pancreatic cancer (EOPC), i.e. patients below 50 years of age, is infrequently described. The present study aimed to determine epidemiology, demographic incidence and prognosis of EOPC and to identify characteristics that might distinguish EOPC.
Methods: 576 consecutive patients with PC diagnosed from January 1993 to December 2008 at the University Hospital of Lund, Sweden. 65 different parameters were compared with a historic cohort of pancreatic cancer patients as well as to matched controls.
Results: 33 patients (5.7%) with PC were 50 years or younger. The overall survival was 170 days compared to 240 days for matched controls (n.s). Patients with EOPC were diagnosed at a significantly more advanced stage, i.e. distant metastasis, (52%) as compared to matched controls (30%; p=0.04). EOPC-patients received more treatment than the compared PDAC-cohort.
Discussion: Early Onset Pancreatic Cancer (EOPC) constituted 5.7 % of all PC, presenting at an advanced stage with frequent metastases and poor survival. The role of genetic alterations and the potential influence of environmental factors for EOPC are to be further investigated.