Current and emerging therapies for the treatment of pancreatic cancer
Rebecca A Moss, Clifton Lee
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Abstract: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma carries a dismal prognosis and remains a significant cause of cancer morbidity and mortality. Most patients survive less than 1 year; chemotherapeutic options prolong life minimally. The best chance for long-term survival is complete resection, which offers a 3-year survival of only 15%. Most patients who do undergo resection will go on to die of their disease. Research in chemotherapy for metastatic disease has made only modest progress and the standard of care remains the purine analog gemcitabine. For resectable pancreatic cancer, presumed micrometastases provide the rationale for adjuvant chemotherapy and chemoradiation (CRT) to supplement surgical management. Numerous randomized control trials, none definitive, of adjuvant chemotherapy and CRT have been conducted and are summarized in this review, along with recent developments in how unresectable disease can be subcategorized according to the potential for eventual curative resection. This review will also emphasize palliative care and discuss some avenues of research that show early promise.
Keywords: neoadjuvant therapy, palliative care adeno carcinoma, mortality
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