FIve-year Survival in Pancreatic Cancer Shows No Improvement

Patients with pancreatic cancer get surgery and other treatment at an earlier stage, but five-year survival has not improved.

Survival in pancreatic cancer after surgical resection has improved--but not nearly enough, researchers said the American College of Gastroenterology Scientific Meeting in Honolulu Oct. 16 to Oct. 21.

Alexander Rosemurgy, MD of Florida Hospital in Tampa, FL and colleagues noted that billions of dollars have been spent on pancreatic cancer research and treatment over the past two decades.

Looking at the SEER database, the team looked at outcomes for 15,604 patients who got pancreatectomy from 1992 to 2010 to see if those efforts have yielded results.

They found five-year survival rates did not change during that period.

Though more patients' disease was found at Stage 1, and they had smaller tumors when the disease was found and lived more years, the big picture did not change.

"Early detection, better perioperative care, more efficacious noncurative chemotherapy undoubtedly played a role, but better solutions for survival must be sought," the team wrote in an abstract presented at the conference.