Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate survival in patients who received celiac plexus neurolysis (CPN) compared with patients who received opioids. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results–Medicare database was used to identify patients older than 65 years diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 2007 and 2015. We used claims data to identify patients with a history of CPN and opioid use within 1 year of diagnosis, and other demographic, clinical, and treatment variables. Kaplan-Meier analyses and inverse propensity-weighted adjusted Cox proportional hazard ratios were used to evaluate survival. Results: We identified 648 patients who underwent CPN (19.0%) compared with 2769 patients who received opioids (81.0%). The median survival and interquartile range for patients who received CPN was 4.0 months (2.0–8.0 months) compared with 7.0 months (3.0–12.0 months) for opioid users (P < 0.0001). After adjusting for confounders and propensity score, the patients who received CPN showed worsened survival (hazard ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.59–1.79). Conclusions: Pancreatic cancer patients who underwent CPN had decreased survival compared with opioid users. This suggests that opioid sparing methods to reduce pancreatic cancer pain may actually be harmful. Future prospective studies should investigate whether other opioid sparing therapies impact pancreatic cancer survival.
- celiac plexus neurolysis
- pancreatic cancer