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May 3, 2016

Optimizing Treatment for Locally Advanced Pancreas Cancer: Progress but No Precision

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2016;315(17):1837-1838. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4284

If cancer is the emperor of all maladies, then pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the ruthless dictator of all cancers. In 2016, there will be an estimated 53 070 new diagnoses and 41 780 deaths from pancreatic cancer in the United States.1 Pancreatic cancer has recently surpassed breast cancer (40 890 deaths) as a cause of death in the United States and ranks below only lung cancer and colorectal cancer in the number of cancer-related deaths annually.1 Globally, more than 340 000 cases are diagnosed each year and the incidence rates and mortality rates are nearly identical.2 Pancreas cancer mortality rates have not substantially declined over the past decade, and the incidence is increasing in low- and middle-resource countries.2