The third most prevalent cause of cancer-related fatalities in the United States and the tenth most often diagnosed malignancy are pancreatic cancer. According to research, it is expected to overtake smoking as the second most common cause by the end of the decade. The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is the lowest of any group of tumors, and just 12% of patients survive at least five years following diagnosis despite recent slow advances. Even though a variety of variables and individual situations all affect survival chances, early identification is crucial.
Since there are no particular screening tests for pancreatic cancer and it frequently does not manifest symptoms until it has advanced to later stages, when it has frequently migrated to other regions of the body, it is very difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer during its early stages. There are few specific therapies for pancreatic malignancies, and at advanced stages, surgical excision is sometimes not an option.
Procedures for Local Cancer
Surgery may successfully treat a pancreatic tumor within the early stages of pancreatic cancer.
The following procedures may be used to treat local cancer:
- Whipple operation: This treatment, technically known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy, is used to treat pancreatic tumors around the head or neck of the pancreas. A surgeon’s goal during this procedure is to eliminate any potential illness from the area surrounding the pancreas and then reconnect all the tissues to improve the function of the digestive system. Over the past forty years, Johns Hopkins surgeons have fundamentally changed how this procedure is carried out, drastically reducing complications and mortality. The majority of Whipple surgeries are performed annually in the United States by Johns Hopkins physicians.
- Distal pancreatectomy: A distal pancreatectomy is used to remove tumors that have grown in the body or tail of the pancreas. A part of the pancreas, which houses the tumor, and also the spleen, which may contain tiny cancer cells, are removed during this treatment by a surgeon.
Treatment for Systematic Pancreatic Cancer
Until recently, treatments for systemic pancreatic cancer (cancer that has metastasized to other areas of the body) that included radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery were only marginally successful. Today’s research is concentrated on creating biological treatments that target pancreatic cancer cells more precisely.
For instance, improvements in immunotherapy are influencing how physicians treat pancreatic cancer. In clinical studies, physicians feed the pancreatic tumor cells with specific chemicals, or markers, using a unique pancreatic cancer vaccine. These indicators expose the cancer cells to the immune system’s onslaught. The body’s immune system is then assisted in locating and eliminating pancreatic cancer cells by yet another sort of immunotherapy medication. These developing medicines have the potential to fundamentally alter how doctors cure pancreatic cancer today and, in the future, but more study is required.
Highly dangerous tumors like pancreatic cancer are difficult to cure because of their complexity. Although surgical excision is still the most common treatment, its effectiveness has not increased over time. The first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer is chemotherapy. The effectiveness of therapy is frequently constrained by drug resistance, thick tumor interstitial tissue, and heterogeneity.
Nanomaterials offer the potential to get beyond biological obstacles to medication delivery in the realm of medicine. To accomplish precision targeting and controlled medication release, the platform for nano-drug delivery may selectively target cancer cells as well as hypoxic microenvironments within tumors. The only nanomedicine currently conducting clinical trials for the management of pancreatic cancer is albumin-bound paclitaxel nanomedicine known as Abraxane®, which has been authorized by the U.S.FDA for treating metastatic pancreatic cancer. Using nanobiotechnology to produce drug delivery systems might be a viable path to successful therapy.