Disparities in Access to Oncologic Care in Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review

Annabelle L. Fonseca, Hamza Khan, Krista R. Mehari, Deepa Cherla, Martin J. Heslin, Fabian M. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Pancreatic cancer care is complex, and multiple disparities in receipt of therapies have been documented. The authors aimed to conduct a systematic review of the literature to critically assess and summarize disparities in access to oncologic therapies for pancreatic cancer. Methods: A search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases were performed for studies reporting disparities in access to oncologic care for pancreatic cancer. Primary research articles published in the United States from 2000 to 2020 were included. Data were independently extracted, and risk of bias was assessed using the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Results: The inclusion criteria were met by 47 studies. All the studies used retrospective data, with 70 % involving national database studies, 41 assessing the impact of race/ethnicity, 22 assessing the impact of socioeconomic status, 18 assessing the impact of insurance status, 23 assessing the impact of gender, 26 assessing the impact of age, and 3 assessing the impact of location on the delivery of cancer-directed therapies. Race, socioeconomic status, insurance status, gender, and age- based disparities in receipt of surgical resection, treatment at high-volume facilities and multimodal therapy for resectable pancreatic cancer, receipt of systemic chemotherapy for metastatic cancer, and receipt of expected standard-of-care treatment are reported. Conclusion: Significant sociodemographic disparities in access to equitable oncologic care exist along the continuum of pancreatic cancer care. Multiple patient, provider, and systemic factors contribute to these disparities. The ongoing study of these disparities is important to elucidate processes that may be targeted to improve access to equitable oncologic care for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3232-3250
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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