Fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the US.
Most common presentation is at 65 to 75 years of age with painless obstructive jaundice and weight loss. Generally presents late with advanced disease.
Surgical resection offers the only hope for cure. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as primary treatment modalities, produce a small but statistically significant benefit. Adjuvant chemotherapy prolongs survival.
Only a minority (5% to 10%) of patients can undergo potentially curative surgery: these patients have a 5-year survival of up to 22%, which decreases to <2% in the presence of distant metastasis.
Patients with metastatic disease (50% to 55%) have a limited survival of only 3 to 6 months.
"Pancreatic cancer" refers to primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which accounts for >85% of all pancreatic neoplasms. The course of pancreatic cancer has been shown to follow a linear progression model from preinvasive pancreatic intraepithelial neoplastic (PanIN) lesions to invasive ductal adenocarcinoma. Two additional well-defined precursor lesions are the intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and the mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN). 
NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer
Specialist Registrar Medical Oncology
Imperial College London
FEMF is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
Professor of Liver and Pancreas Surgery
Barts Cancer Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
HMK is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph. HMK has received trial funding from Celgene and advisory board honorarium from Baxalta Inc.
Consultant Pancreatic Surgeon
West of Scotland Pancreatic Unit
Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
NIK has received funding for the conduction of clinical trials and associated translational studies from Merck, Pfizer, and Astra-Zeneca. NIK has a grant from the NCCN (from research support by Roche).
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer