DOCTORS ON A MISSION
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer you want a team you can depend on – a team that is knowledgeable in the most advanced treatment options available, including clinical trials. At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, our doctors are relentless for a cure for this disease and because we are united in healing with The US Oncology Network, you have access to the knowledge and expertise of not only our own physicians, but also nearly 1,000 physicians nationwide, including some of the national leaders in the field.
Clinical research trials represent some of the most advanced treatment options. Click here to learn more.
HOPE STARTS HERE
Clinical trials offer new hope for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. There have been 33 Phase III trials since 1990, with three having favorable results. FOLFIRINOX was approved in 2011 by the FDA and in September 2013, the FDA approved nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine. All three have been shown to significantly improve overall survival. A recent immunotherapy trial, a combination of GVAX Pancreas vaccine followed by the CRS-207 also has shown promising results and is awaiting FDA approval. Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 50 FDA-approved cancer therapies, nearly one-third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date.
EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENTS FOR PANCREATIC CANCER
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most challenging cancers to treat. If the tumor has not spread or spread very little surgery may be an option. Our medical oncologists work with many excellent surgeons and are happy to facilitate a referral. The tumor’s size will determine whether just the mass can be removed from the pancreas or whether a part of the pancreas itself will need to be removed. After surgery chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often given as adjuvant (additional) therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells and minimize recurrence. Chemotherapy alone may be given if the cancer has spread to other organs. If the tumor cannot be removed surgically, a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be recommended to try and shrink the tumor. Our pancreatic team will work to develop a personalized treatment plan unique to your diagnosis that incorporates the latest treatment advances. Targeted therapies like Erlotinib may also be used.
PALLIATIVE CARE AND ADVANCED PANCREATIC CANCER
Palliative medical care specializes in effectively treating the pain and symptoms that come with advanced cancer. For advanced stages of pancreatic cancer palliative surgery or stent placement may be recommended to relieve symptoms and help improve the quality of life. Pain management options may include nerve blocks or palliative radiation therapy to help shrink the tumor. Palliative chemotherapy may also be an option.
SOMEONE TO TALK TO
You are not alone. Our supportive care is here to listen and support you and your family with services that include counseling, appropriate community resources, support groups, education classes and complementary medicine. They will also help you define what it means to be “living well” and if medically appropriate help you evaluate your values and goals for care.