ecancermedicalscience

Review

An Australasian perspective on the curative treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer, supportive care, and future directions for management

7 Dec 2016
Wendy Muircroft

The management of patients with pancreatic cancer requires an individualised approach and the support of a multidisciplinary team to accurately stage patients and determine their suitability for curative treatment. Guidelines have been developed in Australasia to define the operability for patients who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This is supported by advances in pancreatic cancer genetics, which show potential for developing targeted therapies for pancreatic cancer. Both surgery and targeted therapies aim to extend the overall survival of patients. Patients who are cured of their cancer may live with permanent changes in gut anatomy and physiology leading to distressing symptoms that may not be addressed. Patients who cannot be cured of pancreatic cancer may have supportive care issues that
are often complex, and a strategic approach to manage these needs for patients with pancreatic cancer is underdeveloped in Australasia. Supportive care services need to be in a position to adapt patient care as the evidence base develops.

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