Pancreatic cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It is estimated that 27,000 patients die each year with this diagnosis. The overall five-year survival of patients with pancreatic cancer remains less than 5%, but some subsets of patients may have a better prognosis. Advanced imaging and laparoscopy have improved staging to better select patients for potentially curative surgery, while the operative morbidity and mortality of the Whipple resection have decreased in recent years. Non-surgical therapies in current use include chemotherapy, external-beam radiation therapy, and brachytherapy, as well as pain management. More recently, gene insertion therapy has shown promise in animal models. This review discusses current diagnostic and treatment strategies for these patients and documents the need for new strategies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalSurgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995


  • computed tomography
  • gene therapy
  • pancreatic neoplasms
  • pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • tumour markers


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