Pancreatic cancer: current management and treatment strategies

Pancreatic cancer is increasing in India. 15000 to 17000 new cases are seen every year. Prognosis of pancreatic cancer is dismal. 80% patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Average 1year survival across all stages is only 20%. Median survival for locally advanced disease is just 6- 10 months and in patients with metastatic disease this falls to 3-6 mo. Overall 5 year survival is less than 4%.

Early stage patients can expect up to 40% 5-year survival after radical surgery. Hence early diagnosis & treatment is vital. Radical surgery is not advisable in advanced stage of disease. Aggressive chemo radiotherapy is offered in advanced stage. Newer modalities are under trial for treatment of locally advanced and metastatic disease.