Researchers have identified a potential new method for treating pancreatic cancer, using calcium to overload pancreatic cancer cells and, thus, induce cell death in cancerous cells while sparing healthy cells.
The patient is an otherwise healthy 45-year-old female who presented to her primary care physician with 6 weeks of increasing left upper quadrant abdominal pain with radiation to the back. She underwent an abdominal ultrasound, which revealed a large cystic abdominal mass.
Using blood samples of pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis patients, researchers in Japan have developed a metabolomics-based test that may be an easy and noninvasive way to detect pancreatic cancer.
Optimal supportive care for patients with pancreatic cancer is essential. Putting these interventions into practice requires that oncologists and oncology teams incorporate innovations at both the individual and the system level.
FDA approval of palliative chemotherapy is largely based on disease-free and overall survival, quality of life, and symptom reduction; the latter should be routinely measured by the treating oncologist. Physician assessments of symptoms underreport symptom severity compared to patient-reported symptom assessments.
Advanced urothelial cancer remains, along with pancreatic cancer, one of the last solid tumors for which essentially no progress has been made for 25 years. It’s time to think out of the box, and to develop novel and creative ways of overcoming the real, but not insurmountable, logistical challenges to carrying out the needed clinical trials.