P-174 - The role of gastroenterologists in providing initial information on treatment options for patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) in the United States...

Date 04 July 2015
Event WorldGI 2015
Session Posters
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Pancreatic Cancer
Patient Education and Advocacy
Presenter K. Das
Citation Annals of Oncology (2015) 26 (suppl_4): 1-100. 10.1093/annonc/mdv233
Authors K. Das1, L. Kayitalire2, A. Rhim3
  • 1University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia/US
  • 2Celgene Corporation, Summit/US
  • 3University of Michigan, Ann Arbor/US



Gastroenterologists are often the physicians who first diagnose PC; therefore, they are frequently the first-line source of information about the disease for patients. The current analysis aimed to document the roles of US and European gastroenterologists regarding PC treatment.


Data were collected in a larger study of gastroenterologists, primary care physicians, emergency physicians, palliative care specialists, and surgeons from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Physicians self-completed an online questionnaire between March and May 2014. To be included in this analysis, physicians were required to be board certified or board eligible, to be currently practicing full time, to have 2 - 35 years of experience, and to spend ≥ 50% of their professional time treating patients. We performed a subgroup analysis of gastroenterologists from the larger study.


In total, 695 gastroenterologists were surveyed. Similar proportions of US- and EU-based gastroenterologists reported diagnosing PC frequently (56% and 59%, respectively) or sometimes (36% and 31%). Despite these similar trends in diagnosis, substantial practice variation was reported in the roles of gastroenterologists in managing PC between the United States and Europe (Table). Specifically, more gastroenterologists in Europe considered themselves the primary decision-maker for the treatment of their patients with PC. Among self-reported decision-makers, more gastroenterologists in Europe than the United States reported prescribing chemotherapy. Gastroenterologists in the 2 regions reported similar degrees of confidence in PC treatment options; however, only 57% and 68% of US and EU gastroenterologists reported being aware of gemcitabine as a PC treatment option. Furthermore, gastroenterologists in the United States and Europe estimated that 29% and 24% of patients, respectively, do not receive active treatment.


A significant number of gastroenterologists make the initial diagnosis of PC, which frequently leads to patient questions regarding treatment. In effect, more than one-third of gastroenterologists present initial therapeutic options to patients with PC. However, gastroenterologist respondents demonstrated a relatively poor understanding of standard-of-care PC treatment regimens, which could represent an obstacle to treatment decision-making or follow-up with an oncologist. Thus, there is a clear need to better educate gastroenterologists about PC treatment options.

Table: P-174. Gastroenterologist survey responses