Pancreatic cancer in the era of COVID-19 pandemic: Which one is the lesser of two evils?

World J Clin Oncol. 2021 Feb 24;12(2):54-60. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v12.i2.54.


Pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains one of the deadliest malignancies affecting the older population. We are experiencing a paradigm shift in the treatment of pancreatic cancer in the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Utilizing neoadjuvant treatment and further conducting a safe surgery while protecting patients in a controlled environment can improve oncological outcomes. On the other hand, an optimal oncologic procedure performed in a hazardous setting could shorten patient survival if recovery is complicated by COVID-19 infection. We believe that oncological treatment protocols must adapt to this new health threat, and pancreatic cancer is not unique in this regard. Although survival may not be as optimistic as most other malignancies, as caregivers and researchers, we are committed to innovating and reshaping the treatment algorithms to minimize morbidity and maximize survival as caregivers and researchers.

Keywords: COVID-19; Medical oncology; Neoadjuvant therapy; Pancreatic adenocarcinoma; Pancreatic cancer; Radiation.

Publication types

  • Review