The results of a recently presented clinical study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meetings last week suggest that more aggressive chemotherapy treatment improves outcomes compared to single agent Gemzar (gemcitabine) chemotherapy which has been a standard treatment for over a decade.
About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer death by 2020. Each year, approximately 43,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States and close to 37,000 die from the disease. The disease is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, treatment remains challenging, and new treatment approaches are required.
In the current clinical trial patients with non-metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma who had all visible tumor surgically removed were treated with Gemzar or mFOLFIRINOX for 6 months and directly compared. At a median follow-up of 33.6 months from the treatment individuals treated with mFOLFIRINOX survived without evidence of cancer an average of 21.6 months compared to only 12.8 months for Gemzar treated patients. The median overall survival was also improved; 54.4 months for mFOLFIRINOX versus 35.0 months for Gemzar.
mFOLFIRINOX Chemotherapy is administered every 2 weeks:
mFORFIRINOX was associated with more side effects from treatment but the study authors conclude they were manageable. Dr. Conroy suggested mFOLFIRINOX should be considered a new standard of care for pancreatic cancer after surgical resection.
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