Malignancy within the pancreatic head can arise from pancreatic duct, distal bile duct, ampulla or duodenum. Since September 2000, surgery for all pancreatic head malignancy (PHM) has been centralised into regional pancreatic centres where assessment of preoperative imaging and subsequent surgery is undertaken. As part of this guidance, surgery must be performed within 62-days of referral. This project will assess four aspects of the pre-operative pathway in PHM: 1) Potential variation in outcome of patients referred from different sites within a Cancer Network 2) Potential variation in outcome associated with different intervals to surgery within the 62 day guideline 3) The ability of interpretation of heterogeneous pre-operative CT scans from different hospitals to determine the resectability of PHM 4) The ability of CT scan to distinguish the different tumour types of PHM Images of a consecutive series of patients were re-reported and compared with final pathology reports. Good agreement was noted in determining the tumour origin of PHM (observed agreement = 0.758, Kappa= 0.6 (0.51-0.68)). In the assessment surgical outcomes, geographical isolation from the regional centre was not associated with delay to surgery. Variation in outcome between referral centres was however noted but this was not associated with travel distance. Although little association was noted between delay to surgery and outcome overall, a paradoxical improvement in survival was noted however for the small group of patients with ampullary tumours who waited longer than the median interval to surgery.

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