Published online Feb 15, 2013. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v5.i2.20
Revised: October 28, 2012
Accepted: December 1, 2012
Published online: February 15, 2013
Pancreatic cancer is a common malignant neoplasm of the pancreas with an increasing incidence, a low early diagnostic rate and a fairly poor prognosis. To date, the only curative therapy for pancreatic cancer is surgical resection, but only about 20% patients have this option at the time of diagnosis and the mean 5-year survival rate after resection is only 10%-25%. Therefore, developing new treatments to improve the survival rate has practical significance for patients with this disease. This review deals with a current unmet need in medical oncology: the improvement of the treatment outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer. We summarize and discuss the latest systemic chemotherapy treatments (including adjuvant, neoadjuvant and targeted agents), radiotherapy, interventional therapy and immunotherapy. Besides discussing the current developments, we outline some of the main problems, solutions and prospects in this field.