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Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer diagnosed; despite recent advances in many areas of oncology, survival remains poor, in part owing to late diagnosis. Whilst primary care data are used widely for epidemiology and pharmacovigilance, they are less used for observing survival. In this study we extracted a pancreatic cancer cohort from a nationally representative English primary care database of electronic health records (EHRs) and reported on their symptom and mortality data. A total of 11, 649 cases were identified within the Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Clinical Informatics Digital Hub network. All-cause mortality data was recorded for 4623 (39.69%). Mean age at recording of cancer diagnosis was 71.4 years (SD 12.0 years). 1-year and 5-year survival was 22.06% and 3.27% respectively. Within a multivariate model, age had a significant impact on survival; those diagnosed under the age of 60 had the longest survival, as compared to those age 60 - 79 (HR: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.20 - 1.54, p < 0.001) and 80+ (HR: 2.13, 95% CI: 1.86 - 2.44, p < 0.01). Symptomatology was examined; at any time point abdominal pain was the most commonly reported symptom present in 5271 cases (45.2%), but within the 12 months preceding diagnosis jaundice was the most common feature, present in 2587 patients (22.2%). Future studies clarifying other contributing factors on survival outcomes and patterns of symptomatology are needed; primary care EHRs provide an opportunity to evaluate real-world cancer patient cohort data.

Original publication




Journal article


Studies in health technology and informatics

Publication Date





168 - 172