Latest research draws attention to new ways in treating pancreatic cancer patients

According to a recent study, pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2030.

The research published in Annals of Surgery from the University of Colorado Department of Surgery at the Anschutz Medical Campus underlines the recent development in understanding novel treatment and have presented new guidelines for physicians for enhancing treatment outcomes through surgery.

Moreover, the study also draws attention to a new method of resectability, while also recognizing pre-operative prognostic factors which further help in evaluating long-term survival of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which is the most common type of pancreatic cancer.

“Our research suggests that a new concept of resectability should be considered that is meant to reflect the biology of the tumor and response to chemotherapy,” explained Marco Del Chiaro, MD, PhD, FACS, Chief of Surgical Oncology and Director of the National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“Therefore, this will partially overcome the existing guidelines that are mostly based on tumor anatomic features. Tumor anatomic features are extremely subjective and vary between center to center and surgeon to surgeon,” he further added.

Reports suggest, 8000 patients underwent pancreatic resection for PDAC from January 2010 to December 2016. In addition, it was highlighted that the significant factors for survival were sex, age, levels of carbohydrate antigen CA 19-9, tumor size, primary site, neo-adjuvant treatment (a treatment given to shrink a tumor before surgery), Charlson/Deyo score and facility type.

Experts further explain academic facilities were also related to better survival rates. The results were in addition also supported by a high significant randomized test, log-rank test and simple hazard ratio.

The major highlight of the study is that the tumor engagement of peri-pancreatic arteries at pre-operative scans do not have a negative impact on survival rates for resection.

“Our results suggest that current classifications of resectability on local anatomic and radiologic features should no longer be considered accurate and that more precise prognostic criteria should be defined. The new PDAC nomogram can become a useful tool for patients and counseling physicians in selecting therapy,” explains Atsushi Oba, MD, PhD, research associate for surgical oncology, University of Colorado Department of Surgery, and lead author of the paper.

Researchers also explain that a multidisciplinary approach in treating pancreatic disease can offer patients personalized care and can match candidates with several types of individually significant therapies.