Jia Li, John Ng, Muhammad Wasif Saif, John Allendorf
Pancreatic cancer, as the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., remains a challenging disease for all oncologists. Less than 20% of all cases could be potentially cured by surgical resection, while the majority of cases are deemed either unresectable or metastatic upon diagnosis. In this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, several studies were presented with novel approaches towards treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The LAP-07 study, a large phase III study with two separate randomizations, updated their accrual status, but with no interim data yet reported (Abstract #e14619). A single institutional review study reported its promising results on the incorporation of interferon to chemoradiation, but the toxicities could be concerning (Abstract #e14648). Abstract #e14607 demonstrated promising survival data from a tri-modality approach incorporating local and systemic chemotherapy concurrent with external beam radiation as well as radiofrequency ablation. The tolerability of sorafenib in locally advanced pancreatic cancer was shown in a small phase I study (Abstract #e14525). CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy was investigated as a modality for local palliation (Abstract #e14506). More effective therapeutic agents and approaches are still needed in this difficult disease. This highlight article will focus on the management of locally advanced pancreatic cancer.