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New treatment protocol extends survival in some cases of once inoperable pancreatic cancer
Date:6/26/2012

Chicago (June 27, 2012, 12:01 am [CDT]): Investigators at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, have reported on a new approach to treating previously inoperable complex pancreatic adenocarcinoma that has significantly increased long-term survival for some patients. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most devastating forms of pancreatic cancer with survival rates of only 5 percent at five years. Surgical removal of these tumors offers a chance for cure, but it is estimated that only about 20 percent of patients can undergo this treatment. The tumor in the pancreas often grows into adjacent vital blood vessels, and this is the most common reason a surgeon will consider pancreatic cancer to be inoperable and incurable. However, the MD Anderson investigators have achieved an important milestone in the surgical treatment of the disease in terms of improving prognosis for patients who meet the criteria for a newly developed protocol.

In a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the investigators reported on 88 patients who had been told their tumors were inoperable after an initial surgical attempt at removal, 66 of whom completed a multidisciplinary treatment regimen with successful tumor removal. This approach has been refined at MD Anderson over the last 20 years and involves a more accurate and collaborative interpretation of CT scans of the tumor between surgeons and radiologists; chemotherapy and radiation treatment of the tumor; and finally an advanced approach to surgical resection with planned removal and reconstruction of involved vital blood vessels near the tumor.

"We've been able to achieve survival numbers for these patients that are comparable to those receiving surgery for clearly operable tumors," reported lead study author Jason B. Fleming, MD, FACS. On average, patients in this study lived about 30 months after tumor removal, which is almo
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Contact: Cory Suzan Petty
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5328
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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