New Queensland research suggests surgeries on pancreatic cancer patients should be “super-specialised” to improve outcomes.

The below study highlights why GIVEHOPE supports the University of Cincinnati in its fight against pancreatic cancer. UC has a highly specialized team devoted to pancreatic cancers.

New Queensland research suggests surgeries on pancreatic cancer patients should be “super-specialised” to improve outcomes.

Pancreatic cancer patients are significantly more likely to die if they undergo risky procedures at the hands of surgeons who aren’t as experienced undertaking such operations, new research shows.

A study led by the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute compared outcomes from 270 Queensland and NSW patients who underwent pancreatic cancer operations between 2009 and 2011.

It found a patient was about three times more likely to die within 90 days of surgery if the procedure was done by a “low-volume” surgeon – one who performed the procedure fewer than four times each year.

Patients of such surgeons were also twice as likely to die within a year of their operation, the research found.

Surgery to remove tumours for pancreatic cancer patients, which has the worst survival rate of any cancer, is highly complex.

QIMR’s Associate Professor Rachel Neale said the results did not cast any aspersions on the competency of the surgeons.

“Our findings suggest that more patients would have better outcomes if this procedure was concentrated into the hands of a smaller number of surgeons,” she said.

“In other words, the evidence suggests that surgery for pancreatic cancer should be super-specialised.”

The study has been published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery