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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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Pancreatic Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

In about 46,000 people per year in the U.S., pancreatic cancer will arise, grow, and spread, often before it's ever discovered. As with many types of cancer, the causes of pancreatic cancer are mysterious. Although certain risk factors have been identified, the story is far from complete.

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

  • Surgery.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • Surgery followed by chemoradiation.
  • A clinical trial of combination chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy and targeted therapy, 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 followed by chemoradiation.
  • Chemoradiation followed by chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy with or without targeted therapy.
  • 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:

  • Palliative treatments to relieve pain, such as nerve blocks, and other supportive care.
  • Palliative surgery or stent placement to bypass blocked areas in ducts or the small intestine.
  • Chemotherapy with or without targeted therapy.
  • 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.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: September 04, 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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