Pancreatic cancer only presents symptoms at later stages when it is difficult to treat. More than 50,000 people in America are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. Even after diagnosis, getting effective treatment for pancreatic cancer becomes difficult because it is often too late.
Researchers are exploring options that can improve the survival rates of pancreatic cancer and also help preserve the quality of life of the patients. A new drug combination known as FOLFIRINOX was studied and found to have longer survival probability and offer better surgical options for patients.
- The reason why pancreatic cancer is very lethal is because of its resistance to chemotherapy. But oncologists are trying to find out whether FOLFIRINOX, which is a combination of cancer drugs can improve the outcomes in patients with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. When pancreatic cancer is borderline resectable, it means that the tumor cannot be removed safely because it’s too close to a blood vessel.
- Pancreatic tumors are often very close to important blood vessels and can only be removed through surgery or be shrunk to make them resectable. During a study on patients with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer who were treated with FOLFIRINOX, researchers found that FOLFIRINOX prolonged their lives by making surgery possible.
- Most of the cancers studied responded well to FOLFIRINOX, and the tumors were completely removed through successful surgery without affecting the nearby veins. The patients survived for more than 22 months overall.
With better drugs, pancreatic cancer treatment has improved. But despite the good news, pancreatic cancer is still the fourth deadliest cancer in the world. Scientists are still pursuing more studies and experiments in full spectrum research to identify solutions that will provide better outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer. There is hope that they will come up with lasting solutions and FFOLFIRINOX is just the beginning.