GERMANTOWN, Tenn., April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Dr. Axel Grothey, a medical oncologist
This study shows that pancreatic cancer, which is often deadly, now has a new approach that is offering hope for patients.
Traditionally, pancreatic cancer is treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation in hopes to shrink the tumor or pull it away from an artery or vein, but this traditional approach has never proved to show strong survival rates.
The approach proposed by Drs. Grothey and Truty suggests administering extended and personalized chemotherapy treatments until tumor markers return to a normal range. Then, if a PET scan shows that the tumor has been destroyed, radiation and surgical treatments follow.
Within the study of 194 pancreatic cancer cases treated with this approach, 89% showed longer survival rates, pushing the average survival rate to 5 years. This is a significant increase compared to the 9 – 15 month rate for other traditional routines of treatment. To add, for about one third of those 194 patients, Truty said that his team "couldn't even calculate their average survival because they're alive and doing very well."
Dr. Grothey reiterates that aggressive surgery makes sense only if the cancer elsewhere in a patient's body can be controlled. That's where new chemotherapy agents come in."A cure is only achievable if control of the tumor spread occurs and the primary tumor can be removed. It's not just about surgical skill but, rather, our overall management of each patient with an integrated team approach." He cautions that every patient isn't a candidate for this pancreatic cancer protocol. "Sometimes patients want to be unrealistically aggressive and use every available tool even though that approach may negatively affect their quality of life without adding to their longevity. We try to rein them in. In the right patients, we're more than happy to be aggressive."
The American Cancer Society estimates that 56,770 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. this year. More than 45,000 will die of the disease.
Pancreatic cancer is notoriously deadly because it tends to spread quickly, and it's usually not found until it's advanced.
SOURCE West Cancer Center
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