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Glossary


Treatment of stage IV pancreatic cancer

Stage IV

In stage IV, the cancer has spread to distant sites, such as the liver, lung and abdominal (peritoneal) cavity.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy may be offered for stage IV pancreatic cancer. The chemotherapy drug generally given is gemcitabine (Gemzar).

Surgery

Palliative surgery may be offered for stage IV pancreatic cancer to relieve symptoms of a blockage. The types of surgery are:

  • surgical bypass
  • stent placement

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy may be offered for stage IV pancreatic cancer. The most common targeted therapy drug used to treat advanced pancreatic cancer is erlotinib (Tarceva).

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy may be offered for stage IV pancreatic cancer to control pain.

Clinical trials

People with pancreatic cancer may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.

 

For more information, go to clinical trials.

References

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