Helping increase the survival rate of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer is the focus of intense study. With a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent, this form of cancer is among the deadliest. While a number of potential breakthroughs are on the horizon, a study has shown one particular hope for extending longevity may not have the desired impacts.

Hoping to increase the survival rate for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer, researchers recently looked at several combination therapies. One involved adding an extra chemotherapy drug into the treatment routine. The second involved adding radiation on top of chemotherapy. It was determined that neither addition had positive impacts on overall longevity for patients. The patients given the combination treatments did not have statistically significant increases in longevity. In fact, it was found those who received chemotherapy alone lived longer than others.

While additional treatments on top of chemotherapy may not have a positive impact on pancreatic cancer, researchers are working on a number of projects that may one day enhance survival and detection rates related to this form of cancer. One study, in fact, involving cholesterol control is growing great promise in slowing the spread of the most aggressive form of the disease.

An estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually. About 40,000 succumb to the disease each year. With no simple early detection screen and few treatments available, this disease does remain one of the deadliest. Like other forms of cancer, however, early detection can lead to more successful treatment. That is why it is recommended people at risk for pancreatic cancer understand those risks. They include diabetes, chronic pancreatitis and family history, among others. People who are concerned about pancreatic cancer and their risks should speak with their healthcare providers directly.