Effect of hospital type and volume on lymph node evaluation for gastric and pancreatic cancer

Karl Y. Bilimoria, Mark S. Talamonti, Jeffrey D. Wayne, James S. Tomlinson, Andrew K. Stewart, David P. Winchester, Clifford Y. Ko, David J. Bentrem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: For gastric and pancreatic cancer, regional lymph node evaluation is important to accurately stage disease in a patient and may be associated with improved survival. We hypothesized that National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated institutions, and high-volume hospitals examine more lymph nodes for gastric and pancreatic malignant neoplasms than do low-volume centers and community hospitals. Design: Volume-outcome study. Setting: Academic research. Patients: Using the National Cancer Data Base (January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2004), patients were identified who underwent resection for gastric (n=3088) and pancreatic (n=1130 [pancreaticoduodenectomy only]) cancer. Main Outcome Measures: Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess the effect of hospital type and volume on nodal evaluation (≥15 nodes). Results: Only 23.2% of patients with gastric cancer and 16.4% of patients with pancreatic cancer in the United States underwent evaluation of at least 15 lymph nodes. Patients undergoing surgery had more lymph nodes examined at NCCN-NCI hospitals than at community hospitals (median, 12 vs 6 for gastric cancer and 9 vs 6 for pancreatic cancer; P<.001). Patients at highest-volume hospitals had more lymph nodes examined than patients at low-volume hospitals (median, 10 vs 6 for gastric cancer and 8 vs 6 for pancreatic cancer; P<.001). On multivariable analysis, patients undergoing surgery at NCCN-NCI and high-volume hospitals were more likely to have at least 15 lymph nodes evaluated compared with patients undergoing surgery at community hospitals and low-volume centers (P<.001 and P=.02, respectively). Conclusions: Nodal examination is important for staging, adjuvant therapy decision making, and clinical trial stratification. Moreover, differences in nodal evaluation may contribute to improved long-term outcomes at NCCN-NCI centers and high-volume hospitals for patients with gastric and pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-678
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of hospital type and volume on lymph node evaluation for gastric and pancreatic cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this