Why are African Americans more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than whites? According to theAmerican Cancer Society, higher rates for other pancreatic cancer risk factors, such as diabetes, smoking in men and being overweight in women may all point to reasons why. Here, the FDA shares the latest research on this deadly disease.
Scientists are working to develop breakthrough therapies for pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers affecting both men and women.
Pancreatic cancer is a disease that frequently presents no symptoms until it reaches very advanced stages. Surgery is the only chance for a cure, but most patients are not surgical candidates because of the location of the tumor in the pancreas or because the cancer has spread. Moreover, most people who undergo surgery relapse and subsequently die of pancreatic cancer.
FDA has approved three treatments in the past 20 years for advanced pancreatic cancer to help patients live longer: (1) gemcitabine; (2) erlotinib in combination with gemcitabine; and (3) nab-paclitaxel in combination with gemcitabine.
“Today we know more about this form of cancer. We know it usually starts in the pancreatic ducts and that the KRAS gene is mutated in tumor samples from most patients with pancreatic cancer,” says Abhilasha Nair, M.D., an oncologist in the FDA team that works on cancers of the digestive system, including the stomach, pancreas and colon.
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