Traveling to centers of excellence for pancreatic surgery

M. White and colleagues recently reported a remarkable study of close to 23,000 patients with pancreatic cancer. Using the National Cancer Database, the authors studied whether or not traveling to obtain surgical treatment was associated with better care for patients with pancreatic cancer. Remarkably, patients who traveled for their care (presumably to a center of excellence with extensive experience treating pancreatic cancer) had better survival than patients who did not. Patients who traveled were more likely to have a complete resection of their cancer, and they were more likely to have a complete lymph node dissection than were patients who did not travel. The authors conclude that “There are improvements in both quality and survival for those traveling to academic centers for their cancer care,” and that for pancreatic cancer these improvements “translated to a survival advantage.”

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