Nationwide Validation of the 8th American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM Staging System and Five Proposed Modifications for Resected Pancreatic Cancer

the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group

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Background: The prognostic value of four proposed modifications to the 8th American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging system has yet to be evaluated. This study aimed to validate five proposed modifications. Methods: Patients who underwent pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma resection (2014–2016), as registered in the prospective Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Audit, were included. Stratification and prognostication of TNM staging systems were assessed using Kaplan–Meier curves, Cox proportional hazard analyses, and C-indices. A new modification was composed based on overall survival (OS). Results: Overall, 750 patients with a median OS of 18 months (interquartile range 10–32) were included. The 8th edition had an increased discriminative ability compared with the 7th edition {C-index 0.59 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56–0.61) vs. 0.56 (95% CI 0.54–0.58)}. Although the 8th edition showed a stepwise decrease in OS with increasing stage, no differences could be demonstrated between all substages; stage IIA vs. IB (hazard ratio [HR] 1.30, 95% CI 0.80–2.09; p = 0.29) and stage IIB vs. IIA (HR 1.17, 95% CI 0.75–1.83; p = 0.48). The four modifications showed comparable prognostic accuracy (C-index 0.59–0.60); however, OS did not differ between all modified TNM stages (ns). The new modification, migrating T3N1 patients to stage III, showed a C-index of 0.59, but did detect significant survival differences between all TNM stages (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The 8th TNM staging system still lacks prognostic value for some categories of patients, which was not clearly improved by four previously proposed modifications. The modification suggested in this study allows for better prognostication in patients with all stages of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5988-5999
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number9
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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