Treatments for recurrent pancreatic cancer
The following are treatment options for recurrent pancreatic cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.
Recurrent pancreatic cancer may be treated with one or more of the following.
Chemotherapy is a common treatment for recurrent pancreatic cancer. The type of chemotherapy used will depend on the chemotherapy drugs you had to treat the original tumour.
The chemotherapy drugs and combinations used include:
- gemcitabine (Gemzar)
- FOLFIRINOX – leucovorin (folinic acid), 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil, 5-FU), irinotecan (Camptosar) and oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
- 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin (Platinol AQ)
- gemcitabine and cisplatin
Palliative surgery may be used to relieve symptoms of recurrent pancreatic cancer. It isn’t used to treat the cancer itself.
Pancreatic tumours often cause a blockage in the common bile duct or the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The types of surgery used to remove blockages are:
- surgical bypass
- stent placement
Radiation therapy may be offered to control pain from recurrent pancreatic cancer.
Targeted therapy may be offered for recurrent pancreatic cancer. The most common targeted therapy drug used is erlotinib (Tarceva).
You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for recurrent pancreatic cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.
Access to services in your community
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Community Services Locator helps cancer patients and their families find the services and programs they need in their community.