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January 17, 2007

Adjuvant Therapy for Pancreatic CancerOne Small Step Forward

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 2007;297(3):311-313. doi:10.1001/jama.297.3.311

The great tragedy facing the majority of patients with newly diagnosed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is the persistent high rate of lethality:most newly diagnosed individuals will die within a year.1 Approximately 20% of patients are considered for surgical therapy; however, only about half of these individuals undergo successful resections.24 Surgery remains the only opportunity for cure and can be performed with significant reduction in rates of operative morbidity and mortality, particularly at experienced high-volume centers.5 Use of neoadjuvant strategies in the preoperative setting to improve surgical resectability remain experimental. Adjuvant therapy for the postoperative pancreatic cancer patient has been a highly controversial topic with some strong differences in opinions about the use of adjuvant radiation, chemotherapy, or combined chemoradiation, particularly between investigators in the United States and Europe.6,7

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