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

st three times longer than the 11 months for patients who are never able to have their tumors surgically removed.

The study enrolled high-risk patients who had been originally diagnosed at outside institutions with operable, localized cancer. However, at their initial operations the intent to remove the tumor was aborted when the disease turned out to be more extensive than originally detected.

The study involved a cohort of patients referred to MD Anderson from 1990 to 2010, many of whom were ultimately able to undergo a successful operation to remove the tumors. While the results of small series and isolated cases in which this approach was used have been published, this is the largest study including only those patients who had a previous unsuccessful attempt to remove the tumor, according to Dr. Fleming.

The pancreas is located in the back of the abdomen, near vital arteries and veins that provide blood to the intestines and liver. If the tumor encroaches on these vessels, the operation to remove the tumor can also involve reconstructing these important blood vessels, raising the complexity of the procedure. Reconstructing these vessels in a way that restores appropriate blood flow is critical for the overall wellness and survivability of patients after the operation.

The investigators stratified each patient's risk for metastatic disease based on tumor involvement with local blood vessels, suspicious biopsy results and the nature of the tumor, and overall health status aside from pancreatic cancer. Patients who met these criteria underwent the protocol.

The key to screening patients for treatment and staging of their cancer is radiographic imaging, specifically in the interpretation of CT scans of the tumors before the operation, Dr. Fleming explained. "The interpretation needs to be performed in conjunction with the radiologist, but also with heavy involvement by the surgeon," he said. "The goal should be t
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Contact: Cory Suzan Petty
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5328
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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