Treatment of pancreatic cancer. Promises and problems of tamoxifen, somatostatin analogs, and gemcitabine

Int J Pancreatol. 1997 Oct;22(2):81-93. doi: 10.1007/BF02787465.


The clinical problem posed by pancreatic cancer is introduced, and the epidemiology and pathology of the disease are briefly presented. The natural history of this tumor is then described in order to highlight the deficiencies of current therapeutic modalities. The extremely poor results of the early drug trials are reviewed, followed by a detailed discussion and critique of the trials of novel treatments that include gemcitabine, somatostatin analogs, and tamoxifen. Finally, areas for future development are indicated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Forecasting
  • Hormone Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Somatostatin / therapeutic use
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Tamoxifen
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Somatostatin
  • gemcitabine