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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Pancreatic Cancer

Question: pancreatic cancer which has metastasized to liver

 etnama1 - Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:02 pm

I was wondering if Chemo is an appropriate treatment to prolong life... and I was also wondering how long one can live with this disorder. My uncle has recently been diagnosed however metastasized to his liver and I am very concerned. Thank You
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:59 am

User avatar Hello,

Treatment of pancreatic cancer depends on many factors. First, the type of pathology has a lot to do with how these patients are treated and how long they live. Some endocrine malignancies of the pancreas tend to be very slow to progress, even after they have metastasized to the liver.

However, pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma, is the most common type of pathology being present in up to 90% of cases. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is very aggressive and is only cured when it is discovered at an early (localized) stage. The treatment at this stage is surgery.

Chemotherapy has not been very successful in treating advanced pancreatic cancer and may not be appropriate for everyone. The two most common types used are gemcitabine and 5-FU (5-fluorouracil). In a randomized phase III trial gemcitabine produced a better 1-year survival than did 5-FU (18% of patients lived at the end of 1 year when given gemcitabine compared to 2% for those taking 5-FU).

There is a lot that can be offered to advanced pancreatic cancer patients, in terms of symptom control and improving the quality of life.

Some patients may be candidates for clinical trials using novel therapeutic agents, aiming at improving survival.

Best of luck to you and your uncle and please let us know if you have any other questions.
 etnama1 - Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:12 am

Thank you for your response I really appreciate it :)

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