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Pancreatic Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Stages I and II Pancreatic Cancer

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Treatment of stage I and stage II pancreatic cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery with or without chemotherapy.
  • Surgery with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of combination chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and targeted therapy (erlotinib), with or without chemoradiation.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy before surgery.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I pancreatic cancer and stage II 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.

Stage III Pancreatic Cancer

Treatment of stage III pancreatic cancer may include the following:

  • Palliative surgery or stent placement to bypass blocked areas in ducts or the small intestine.
  • Chemotherapy (gemcitabine) with or without targeted therapy (erlotinib).
  • Combination chemotherapy.
  • Chemoradiation followed by chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation, for cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • A clinical trial of new anticancer therapies together with chemotherapy or chemoradiation.
  • A clinical trial of radiation therapy given during surgery or internal radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III 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.

Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer

Treatment of stage IV pancreatic cancer may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy (gemcitabine) with or without targeted therapy (erlotinib).
  • Combination chemotherapy.
  • Palliative treatments for pain, such as nerve blocks, and other supportive care.
  • Palliative surgery or stent placement to bypass blocked areas in ducts or the small intestine.
  • Clinical trials of new anticancer agents with or without chemotherapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage IV 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.

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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