Purpose: In pancreatic surgery, a relation between surgical volume and postoperative mortality and overall survival (OS) has been recognized, with high-volume centers reporting significantly better survival rates. We aimed to explore the influence of hospital volume on administration of palliative chemotherapy and OS in the Netherlands.
Methods: Patients diagnosed between 2007 and 2011 with metastatic pancreatic cancer were identified in the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Three types of high-volume centers were defined: high-volume
(1) incidence center, based on the number of patients diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer,
(2) treatment center based on number of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who started treatment with palliative chemotherapy and
(3) surgical center based on the number of resections with curative intent for pancreatic cancer. Independent predictors of administration of palliative chemotherapy were evaluated by means of logistic regression analysis. The multivariable Cox proportional hazard model was used to assess the impact of being diagnosed or treated in high-volume centers on survival.
Results: A total of 5385 patients presented with metastatic pancreatic cancer of which 24 % received palliative chemotherapy. Being treated with chemotherapy in a high-volume chemotherapy treatment center was associated with improved survival (HR 0.76, 95 % CI 0.67–0.87). Also, in all patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, being diagnosed in a high-volume surgical center was associated with improved survival (HR 0.74, 95 % CI 0.66–0.83).
Conclusions: Hospital volume of palliative chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer was associated with improved survival, demonstrating that a volume–outcome relationship, as described for pancreatic surgery, may also exist for pancreatic medical oncology.

Additional Metadata
Keywords High-volume hospital, Palliative chemotherapy, Pancreatic cancer, Population based, Survival
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-016-2140-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/90488
Journal Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Haj Mohammad, N, Bernards, N, Besselink, M.G, Busch, O.R.C, Wilmink, J.W, Creemers, G.J.M, … van Laarhoven, H.W.M. (2016). Volume matters in the systemic treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer: a population-based study in the Netherlands. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 142(6), 1353–1360. doi:10.1007/s00432-016-2140-5