Introduction: Pancreatic cancer remains a challenging malignancy due to the high proportion of patients diagnosed at advanced stages and the limited treatment options. This article discusses recent evidence in the management of both localized and advanced pancreatic cancer and offers an expert opinion on current best practice.
Areas covered: For patients with localized disease, the evidence for adjuvant chemotherapy is discussed as well as emerging neoadjuvant approaches for resectable, borderline resectable, and locally advanced disease. Advances in metastatic disease are discussed including cytotoxic chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and the role of genomic testing to identify patients with molecular alterations. Reviewed literature included journal publications, abstracts presented at major international oncology meetings, and ongoing clinical trials databases.
Expert opinion: Pancreatic cancer is a devastating diagnosis and despite recent advances has a very poor prognosis. Only a minority of patients, 20%, are diagnosed with potentially curable disease. The shifting paradigm toward neoadjuvant therapy may improve resectability and survival rates; however, robust evidence is required. Thus far, there has only been limited progress in advanced stage disease. Genomic testing may potentially identify more treatment targets although limited to small subgroups.
- Pancreatic cancer