Pancreatic cancer clinical trials are studies that research new therapies or new treatment combinations. The FDA reviews and analyzes clinical trial data when determining whether an experimental treatment will be approved for a disease such as pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer clinical trials provide early access to the latest treatments that can lead to better results. These trials are conducted to find out whether there is a new treatment or a different care method for researchers and doctors working on the subject.
Why Are Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials Important?
Clinical trials studying pancreatic cancer treatments are very important in learning to what extent the drugs and practices, used in this treatment, are beneficial. In addition, it is an important guide in terms of observing and determining the causes of pancreatic cancer and the factors that cause this disease.
Clinical studies are conducted to increase the quality of life of patients with pancreatic cancer and to find the best possible treatment method during and after initial treatment. They are carried out for the following purposes:
- Early diagnosis
- Develop and testing of new treatment methods
- Improve currently used treatments
- Determine the side effects of treatments
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
There are several options available for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Available treatment options are determined by the type and stage of the cancer, possible side effects, the patient’s preferences, and general health status. The goals and expectations of each treatment are different. Once discussed between the patient and the doctor, the most appropriate method is determined. Collaborative decision-making, regarding the treatment, is especially important for pancreatic cancer due to the limited treatment options for this type of cancer.
When detected early, pancreatic cancer has a much higher chance of being successfully treated. However, for patients with later stage pancreatic cancer, the goal of treatment is to help control and alleviate the symptoms.
How is Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Administered?
Before starting pancreatic cancer treatment, laboratory and radiological examinations are done to understand the stage of the pancreatic tumor. The tumor’s relationship with neighboring organs, especially whether it has spread to neighboring vessels or distant organs, is determined. As a result of the examinations, the possibility of surgical resection is evaluated.
Surgery cannot be performed on advanced stage tumors. Along with chemotherapy, additional treatments can improve the quality of life by decreasing jaundice, providing nutritional support, and reducing pain.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
- Excess weight/obesity
- A family history of pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia
- Hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
- Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome