Treatment of recurrent pancreatic cancer may include the following:Palliative surgery or stent placement to bypass blocked areas in ducts or the small intestine.Palliative radiation therapy to shrink the tumor.Other palliative medical care to reduce symptoms, such as nerve blocks to relieve pain.Chemotherapy.Clinical trials of chemotherapy, new anticancer therapies, or biologic therapy.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent pancreatic cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Localized DiseaseIf technically and medically feasible, primary management of endocrine tumors of the pancreas involves surgical resection with curative intent. Given the rare nature of these tumors, surgical approaches are based upon case series and expert opinion rather than randomized controlled trials. The surgical options listed below are based on retrospective series from single reporting centers.[2,3,4][Level of evidence: 3iiD or 3iiiD] Adjuvant therapy has no proven benefit and is, therefore, investigational. There have been no well-controlled trials of adjuvant therapy after complete tumor resection.Surgical Cytoreduction for MetastasesSurgery plays a role even in the setting of metastatic disease. The symptoms of metastatic functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) may be ameliorated by the reduction of overall tumor burden through surgical debulking.The liver is a common site of metastasis from pancreatic NETs. Because of the slow growth rate of many NETs,
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors form in hormone-making cells (islet cells) of the pancreas.The pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long that is shaped like a thin pear lying on its side. The wider end of the pancreas is called the head, the middle section is called the body, and the narrow end is called the tail. The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine. Anatomy of the pancreas. The pancreas has three areas: head, body, and tail. It is found in the abdomen near the stomach, intestines, and other organs. There are two kinds of cells in the pancreas:Endocrine pancreas cells make several kinds of hormones (chemicals that control the actions of certain cells or organs in the body), such as insulin to control blood sugar. They cluster together in many small groups (islets) throughout the pancreas. Endocrine pancreas cells are also called islet cells or islets of Langerhans. Exocrine pancreas cells make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the
This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above. Editorial changes were made to this summary.
There are different types of treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer. Different types of treatment are available for patients with pancreatic cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment. Five types of standard treatment are used:Surgery One of the following types of surgery may be used to take out the tumor:Whipple procedure: A surgical procedure in which the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, and the bile duct are removed.
Purpose of This SummaryThis PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the treatment of pancreatic cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.Reviewers and UpdatesThis summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Board members review recently published articles each month to determine whether an article should:be discussed at a meeting,be cited with text, orreplace or update an existing article that is already cited.Changes to the summaries are made through a consensus process in