Pancreatic cancer treatment: better, but a long way to go


Remarkable progress has been made in treating pancreatic cancer over the past century, including refinement of our surgical techniques and improvements in adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies. Despite these advances, the incidence of pancreatic cancer is rising globally, and it remains a deadly disease. In this review, we highlight the historical perspectives of pancreatic cancer treatment and outline the areas of future advancement that will assist progression towards better outcomes. Areas of future advancement include improving prevention strategies and early detection, refining our molecular understanding of pancreatic cancer, identifying more effective systemic therapies, and improving quality of life and surgical outcomes. Furthermore, systems need to be put in place to ensure all patients with pancreatic cancer receive high quality care and are given the appropriate options and sequence of therapy. This is best achieved through multidisciplinary care.

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Robert J. Torphy is supported by the National Institute of Health/National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NIH/NCATS) Colorado CTSA Grant Number TL1 TR002533.

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Torphy, R.J., Fujiwara, Y. & Schulick, R.D. Pancreatic cancer treatment: better, but a long way to go. Surg Today 50, 1117–1125 (2020).

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  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Neoadjuvant therapy