Nationwide evaluation of pancreatic cancer networks ten years after the centralization of pancreatic surgery

Jana S. Hopstaken, Lois A. Daamen, the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group, Gijs A. Patijn, Judith de Vos-Geelen, Sebastiaan Festen, Bert A. Bonsing, Marcel Verheij, John J. Hermans, Marco J. Bruno, Roeland F. de Wilde, Ignace H.J.T. de Hingh, Marc G. Besselink, Kees J.H.M.van Laarhoven, Martijn W.J. Stommel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Due to centralization of pancreatic surgery, patients with pancreatic cancer are treated in pancreatic cancer networks, composed of referring hospitals (Spokes) and an expert center (Hub). This study aimed to investigate I) how pancreatic cancer networks are organized and II) evaluated by involved clinicians. Methods: Two online surveys were sent out between January–May 2022. Part I was sent out to the surgical network directors of all hospitals of the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group (DPCG). Part II was sent out to all involved clinicians in the Hubs-and-Spokes networks. Results: There was a large variety between the 15 networks concerning number of affiliated Spokes (1-7), annual pancreatoduodenectomies (20-129), and use of a service level agreement (SLA) (40%). More Spoke clinicians considered the Spoke the best location for diagnostic workup (74% vs 36%, P < 0.001). Only 30% of Spoke clinicians attended the Hubs multidisciplinary team meeting frequently. More Hub clinicians thought that exchange of patient information should be improved (37% vs 51%, P = 0.005). Conclusion: A large variety in Dutch pancreatic cancer networks was observed concerning number of affiliated Spokes, use of SLAs, and logistic aspects of network care. Improvement of network care concern agreements on diagnostic workup, use of SLA, Spoke participation in the MDT, and patient information exchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1522
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Early online date27 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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