Advanced-stage pancreatic cancer: therapy options

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2013 Jun;10(6):323-33. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2013.66. Epub 2013 Apr 30.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the most aggressive cancers, and surgical resection is a requirement for a potential cure. However, the majority of patients are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, either metastatic (50%) or locally advanced cancer (30%). Although palliative chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with metastatic disease, management of locally advanced adenocarcinoma is controversial. Several treatment options, including extended surgical resections, neoadjuvant therapy with subsequent resections, as well as palliative radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, should be considered. However, there is little evidence available to support treatment options for locally advanced disease. As valid predictive biomarkers for stratification of therapy are not available today, future trials need to define the role of the different treatment options. This Review summarizes the current evidence and discusses available treatment options for both locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*