Pancreatic cancer: treatments

In a patient suffering from pancreatic cancer, the treatments will be decided and implemented by a multidisciplinary team of specialists (digestive surgeon, doctor oncologist ...), with the agreement of the patient.

Depending on the tumor, the state of health of the patient ... different therapeutic strategies can be proposed.

Imaging examinations (CT) are essential to predict the treatment to be put in place, and in particular to know if a surgical procedure must be performed as first-line.

If the tumor remains localized to the pancreas

If the tumor remains localized to the pancreas, surgery is usually indicated first. This intervention is complex requiring to be conducted by trained practitioners.

Thereafter another treatment, chemotherapy can be prescribed.

If the tumor is more extensive

If the tumor is larger, treatment often starts with chemotherapy sessions that have made progress in terms of outcome and tolerance.

Radiation therapy can also be performed. Sometimes chemotherapy is associated with radiotherapy sessions.

Specific surgical operations are sometimes performed to, for example, unclog the bile duct (through which bile flows from the liver and passes through the pancreas). There will be the placement of biliary or duodenal prosthesis.

After the treatment, the surveillance requires ultrasounds, blood tests to determine the serum markers (dosage of CA 19-9), etc.

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