This Will Become the New Standard of Care for Early Stage Pancreatic Cancer

According to The Seattle Times, the prognosis of a certain four-drug combination is much greater for patients with pancreatic cancer than the typical single standard cancer treatment. This discovery is going to have major implications for the pancreatic cancer community, as it is typically an incredibly hard cancer to treat.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer, as you might suspect, occurs in the pancreas. Normally functioning, this body part works to help the body digest food and manage blood sugar. There are two types of pancreatic cancer and risk factors include smoking, obesity, and family history. Among some symptoms of pancreatic cancer are diabetes, unintended weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, bowel obstruction, and more. Current treatments for pancreatic cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, supportive care, and targeted therapy. To read more about this condition, click here.

What the research says

The latest research reported by The Seattle Times show that a certain chemotherapy treatment, folfirinox, will soon become to go-to treatment for the smaller group of those affected whose cancer can still be surgically removed. This means that the diagnosis for these individuals must happen in the early stages of the cancer.

The results are undeniable: after about three years of treatment and follow-up, about 40 percent of pancreatic cancer patients on folfirinox were cancer-free. For those who stayed on the standard treatment, Gemzar, only about 20% came through disease-free.

These incredible results were reported this past week at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

Dr. Richard Schilsky is the chief medical officer of the group and noted this research as an “immediately practice-changing study.”

He also claimed that this is the “biggest advance for pancreatic cancer in 25 years.”

Interestingly, the treatment folfirinox has been working as the main treatment for patients with further stage pancreatic cancer, specifically stage IV.

Because pancreatic cancer is such a hard-to-treat disease, doctors are understanding the amazing potential of this treatment. The data are “reassuring for a disease where unfortunately on average people only live several months rather than several years. This is a new standard of care for this illness,” said Dr. Andrew Epstein from Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Around 500 patients were participants in the four-year study from 2012-2016. The patients enrolled all had early tumors, which is the most common form of pancreatic cancer. As mentioned above, the participants were either given folfirinox or Gezmar. The results from the folfirinox were much more promising.

This latest discovery in pancreatic cancer could alter the future of many. To read more about this, click here.

Follow us