Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer
Chemotherapy may be used at any stage of pancreatic cancer to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs are usually administered in cycles, with alternating periods of treatment and recovery. They may be given alone or in conjunction with radiation therapy or surgery.
According to the American Cancer Society, the following chemotherapy drugs may be used to treat pancreatic cancer:
- Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
- 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)
- Irinotecan (Camptosar)
- Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
- Albumin-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane)
- Capecitabine (Xeloda)
- Paclitaxel (Taxol)
- Docetaxel (Taxotere)
- Irinotecan liposome (Onivyde)
If the patient’s health is strong enough, two chemotherapy drugs may be used together to fight pancreatic cancer. They may be given intravenously or by mouth. Chemotherapy is very powerful and can lead to a wide range of side effects, including hair loss, nausea and vomiting, changes in appetite and fatigue.
Potential New Therapies Help Outsmart Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is challenging to treat. A Johns Hopkins surgeon details the latest treatment breakthroughs.
Research teams around the world are working to uncover novel ways to attack this disease. Every day doctors learn more about how new treatments, such as immunotherapies, could help treat pancreatic cancer more effectively.