Immunotherapy May Offer Hope in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Posted by Hollie Williams on October 16th, 2015

With five-year survival rates under 10 percent, pancreatic cancer has long been considered one of the deadliest forms of this disease. An estimated 48,900 people annually face a positive diagnosis of this disease with some 40,000 deaths logged yearly due to the cause. While treatments have been less than stellar in the past, some breakthroughs in chemotherapy are paving the way for longer life expectancy and the potential to study other possible life-saving therapies.

Researchers are finding that immunotherapy may offer the key to better treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Little work in this arena, however, has been performed to date courtesy of the low lifespan anticipation associated with this disease. As better, more targeted forms of chemo become available to treat pancreatic cancer, researchers are finding themselves able to delve into the potential benefits of immunotherapy.

At present, some forms of immunotherapy are already showing promise. Interestingly, results have only been found so far when treating metastatic pancreatic cancer. This type of therapy uses drugs to disable the drivers behind cancer development. The idea is essentially to cut off cancer’s ability to thrive and spread.

How soon more aggressive trials of immunotherapy for treating pancreatic cancer will move forward remains unclear. The hope is, however, that newer disease-stabilizing therapies will enable more time to conduct trials to see if this path of research can prove beneficial in increasing survival rate or prolonging lives after diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer has long been one of the deadliest forms of the disease, but it remains one of the least funded in regard to research funding. Nonprofit organizations are striving to change this by raising awareness about this almost-always fatal condition.

If pancreatic cancer is a concern, but sure to discuss personal risks with a healthcare provider. Doctors can help assess risks and may suggest screening for the disease in some cases.

About Author
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation was started by Gregory A. Echt, M.D. and his wife, Susan T. Echt, after they lost two of their dear friends, Michael and Peter, to premature deaths from pancreatic cancer.

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Hollie Williams

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Hollie Williams
Joined: September 18th, 2015
Articles Posted: 25

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