Background: Clinical and pathologic staging determine treatment of pancreatic cancer. Clinical stage has been shown to underestimate final pathologic stage in pancreatic cancer, resulting in upstaging. Methods: National Cancer Database was used to identify clinical stage I pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Univariate, multivariable logistic regression, and Cox proportional hazard ratio were used to determine differences between upstaged and stage concordant patients. Results: Upstaging was seen in 80.2% of patients. Factors found to be significantly associated with upstaging included pancreatic head tumors (OR 2.56), high-grade histology (OR 1.74), elevated Ca 19-9 (OR 2.09), and clinical stage T2 (OR 1.99). Upstaging was associated with a 45% increased risk of mortality compared to stage concordant disease (HR 1.44, p <.001). Conclusion: A majority of clinical stage I pancreatic cancer is upstaged after resection. Factors including tumor location, grade, Ca 19-9, and tumor size can help identify those at high risk for upstaging.
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