Stage 4 Pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Stage 4 Pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most common type of pancreatic cancer and the fourth most common cause of cancer death in both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic adenocarcinoma has a five-year survival rate of 7.7%.

Stage 4 pancreatic adenocarcinoma is advanced pancreatic cancer, and it is not curable. In stage 4, the cancer has spread to other organs, such as the liver, lungs or lymph nodes. Treatment at this stage is usually palliative, meaning it seeks to improve symptoms and quality of life. Patients can receive chemotherapy and other treatments to slow the spread of the cancer and ease pain.

Treatment Options for Stage 4 Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Patients with Stage 4 pancreatic adenocarcinoma have several treatment options, including:

  • Chemotherapy: A combination of drugs may be used to slow the growth of the cancer.
  • Radiation: Radiation, sometimes in combination with chemotherapy drugs, may be used to shrink tumors or reduce pain.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be performed to remove tumors and relieve pain.
  • Targeted therapy: This treatment uses drugs to attack cancer cells without damaging normal cells.
  • Immunotherapy: This involves stimulating the body's own immune system to fight the disease.

Clinical Trials for Stage 4 Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Clinical trials are research studies that test a new type of treatment, and many of these studies involve patients with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer. Clinical trials offer access to potentially more effective treatments than those available in standard care. Participating in a clinical trial may also give the patient a chance to help advance knowledge and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Patients should talk to their doctor to find out if clinical trials might be an option for them. For more information on clinical trials, contact the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or visit the Clinical Trials and Studies section on the NCI website.