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Nutrition in Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Michael Pishvaian discusses the various nutritional issues that can be present in many pancreatic cancer patients. A nutritionist can help develop a plan to reduce digestive complaints caused by pancreatic cancer, including diet changes or the introduction of the prescription pancreatic enzyme drug called CREON.

Targetable Gene Mutations in Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Michael Pishvaian discusses the targetable gene mutations that are often present in pancreatic cancer patients, and what current and developing options for treatment are available. Clinical trials are now proving the efficacy of new drug treatments for certain very specific genetic mutations.

 

Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer: FOLFIRINOX

Dr. Michael Pishvaian discusses FOLFIRINOX, a chemotherapy approach to treating Pancreatic Cancer. It has some common side effects, such as nausea, hair loss, and sometimes vomiting. He helps you understand what symptoms you might encounter during the treatment.

Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer: FOLFIRINOX details

FOLFIRINOX is a combination of three chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients, and is given in the form of an IV 5-FU pump. Patients are often prescribed multiple powerful anti-nausea medications before treatment to make FOLFIRINOX tolerable.

Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer: Gemcitabine + Abraxane

Gemcitabine and Abraxane is a well-tolerated chemotherapy regimen for pancreatic cancer patients. Retrospective research has shown that negative symptoms can be reduced without reduced effectiveness when the drugs are given every two weeks instead of weekly.

Treatment after Resection of Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Michael Pishvaian discusses treatment of pancreatic cancer post tumor resection. Because of the proximity to critical blood vessels, pancreatic cancer is initially approached and treated as a cancer that has already learned to spread beyond the pancreas. Chemotherapy treatment is often given after surgical removal of the tumor as a method of reducing further spreading of cancer cells to other parts of the body, and chemotherapy post operation is now known to increase patient survival rates.

Radiation Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Michael Pishvaian discusses radiation therapy for patients with pancreatic cancer. Radiation therapy can decrease the chances of cancer returning after surgery, referred to as local recurrence, however, standard radiation therapy does not benefit survival, and it is presently unknown if it improves overall survival rate. Unlike standard radiation therapy, stereotactic radiation therapy (SBRT) is a viable treatment option known to reduce symptoms in patients with pain caused by tumors.

Localized Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Michael Pishvaian discusses treatment options for localized pancreatic cancer, or pancreatic cancer that hasn’t yet spread to any other part of the body. Because of the placement of the pancreas within the abdomen, pancreatic tumors can make surgery difficult or impossible. Chemotherapy treatment can result in an inoperable tumor becoming operable, however, to determine if surgery will become part of a treatment plan requires the work of multiple specialists.

Second-Line Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Second-line treatment of pancreatic cancer includes only one FDA-approved regimen, which includes IV 5-FU in addition to nanoliposomal irinotecan (Onivyde). Side effects of this combination of chemotherapy drugs are similar to the widely recognized FOLFIRI drug cocktail, but hasn’t yet become an FDA-approved Level One regimen for second-line treatment. Patients without improvement from second-line treatment are typically referred to the clinical trial setting.

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