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World J Gastrointest Oncol. Feb 15, 2013; 5(2): 20-28
Published online Feb 15, 2013. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v5.i2.20
Current developments, problems and solutions in the non-surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer
Xiao-Zhong Guo, Zhong-Min Cui, Xu Liu
Xiao-Zhong Guo, Zhong-Min Cui, Xu Liu, Department of Gastroenterology, the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Command, Shenyang 100840, Liaoning Province, China
Author contributions: Guo XZ, Cui ZM and Liu X contributed to this paper.
Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81071982
Correspondence to: Xiao-Zhong Guo, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Command, No. 83, Wenhua Road, Shenyang 100840, Liaoning Province, China.
Telephone: +86-24-28851113 Fax: +86-24-28851113
Received: January 20, 2012
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.

Keywords: Treatment, Pancreatic cancer, Survival rate, Systemic chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Interventional therapy, Immunotherapy