Pancreatic Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment Option Overview
The survival rate of patients with any stage of pancreatic exocrine cancer is poor. Clinical trials are appropriate alternatives for treatment of patients with any stage of disease and should be considered prior to selecting palliative approaches. To provide optimal palliation, determination of resectability must be made. Staging studies for resectability include helical computed tomographic scan, magnetic resonance imaging scan, and endoscopic ultrasound. The introduction of minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopy and laparoscopic ultrasound, may decrease the use of laparotomy.[1,2] Surgical resection remains the primary modality when feasible since, on occasion, resection can lead to long-term survival and provides effective palliation.[3,4,5][Level of evidence: 3iA] The role of postoperative therapy (chemotherapy with or without chemoradiation therapy) in the management of this disease remains controversial because much of the randomized clinical trial data available are statistically underpowered and provide conflicting results.[6,7,8,9,10] Frequently, malabsorption caused by exocrine insufficiency contributes to malnutrition. Attention to pancreatic enzyme replacement can help alleviate this problem. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Nutrition in Cancer Care for more information.) Celiac axis (and intrapleural) nerve blocks can provide highly effective and long-lasting control of pain for some patients. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Pain for more information.)
Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
New medications and treatments for pancreatic cancer must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through pancreatic cancer clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new drugs on a group of volunteers with pancreatic cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat pancreatic cancer, its safety, and any possible...
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
February 25, 2014
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