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

o give the surgeon a clear idea of tumor location and vessel involvement before beginning the operation," he said.

The MD Anderson protocol also uses a scoring system along with structured documentation for the radiologist to more accurately assess the extent of tumor-vessel involvement, according to Dr. Fleming. "With good imaging and good interpretation you have a high likelihood of being able to predict involvement of the vessels before surgical treatment, not after," he said. About 46 percent of the patients in this study required some type of vascular resection, according to Dr. Fleming.

Of the 88 patients enrolled in the study, 50 of them came from academic centers, 25 from community hospitals, and 13 from international centers. However, hospital type and surgeon skill are not necessarily indicators of the setting in which this protocol can be used, Dr. Fleming said. Removing the pancreatic tumor and then sparing the veins and arteries requires not only a high level of technical surgical skill but also a focused team of medical specialists collaborating on complex pancreatic cancer, Dr. Fleming said.

The MD Anderson study underscores the need for patients with inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma to seek out a second opinion, Dr. Fleming said. "I would say to these patients and loved ones that it is important to advocate for yourself and your family, to seek out opinions, and not necessarily go with the first thing you hear as the answer," Dr. Fleming said. "This study is an example of patients who have benefited by persisting. 'Hope exists' is the message we want these patients to hear," he concluded.


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Contact: Cory Suzan Petty
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5328
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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