Novel treatments and therapies in development for pancreatic cancer

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2002 Jun;11(6):769-86. doi: 10.1517/13543784.11.6.769.


Until recently, 5-fluorouracil was the most widely used treatment for non-resectable pancreatic cancer. This treatment, however, only resulted in a median survival time of approximately 4 months. In the last few years, gemcitabine has rapidly become the new treatment benchmark, due more to its superior clinical benefit rather than to it conferring an increased median survival (approximately 5-6 months). Thus, the outlook for patients with pancreatic cancer is still relatively bleak. A number of new treatment options are presently being investigated. Some of these are combination therapies involving gemcitabine and other chemotherapeutic agents or radiation. Other novel treatment strategies are also already being evaluated in clinical studies. Some of the more promising treatments in development are discussed and evaluated in this article.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hormones
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine