Pancreatic Cancer Research Paper

Words: 2237
Pages: 9

Qihui Hu
Biol-172B: Disease Paper #5
Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer
Both as a digestive organ and endocrine gland, the pancreas plays a key role in digestive system and help maintain sugar level in our body. It’s located in the deep of the abdomen and people don’t know it as much as they do about other parts of their bodies, such as liver, lung and stomach. Given by its relatively indistinctive location and not obvious symptoms when people affect pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cancer ranks as the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States [1]. It accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the US, and accounts for about 7% of cancer deaths. The death rate within first year after diagnosis is 72 percent and
…show more content…
There are two types of surgeries available depend on the cancer happen location [3]. If tumor happen in the pancreatic head, the surgery is called Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy). It will involve in removing the head of pancreas, part of small intestine, gallbladder and portion of bile duct, as well as part of stomach. Then reconnect the remaining parts of pancreas stomach and intestines to help patients digest food [4]. Like other surgery, it involves a risk of infection and bleeding and people may experience nausea and vomiting.
If it happened in the body and tail of pancreas, it’s called distal pancreatectomy, which involved in removing spleen. Like whipple procedure, it also carries a risk of bleeding and infection [4].
However, not all patients suitable for the surgery especially for people whose cancer already spread to other parts of body and for older people whose health condition is worse than young people. These people will choose more conservative treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy or their combination (more
…show more content…
A machine is used to direct radiation to specific point on patient’s body during the therapy and it always combine with other treatments [3]. But unlike chemotherapy, it alone can only treat cancer cells that not spread to others parts of body
Different from chemotherapy, drug that used in targeted therapy do little harm to health cells and only target specifically to cancer cells. Right know most commonly used target therapy drugs to treat exocrine pancreatic cancer is called erlotinib (Tarceva), which approved by PDA in 2005. In 2011, FDA approved another two targeted therapy drugs, sunitinib (Sutent) and everolimus (Afinitor) to treat pancreatic endocrine tumors. Erlotinib always combine with gemcitabine to treat advanced pancreatic cancer [4].
The last treatment is clinical trials. Researchers use this method to investigate new treatments or new combinations of treatments. Patients are selected to take clinical trials usually divide into two groups, one group take placebo and the other group take sample drugs. Since sample drugs might have serious or unexpected side effects, unless people couldn’t be treated effectively by above treatments, they won’t consider this treatment as their first