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The pancreas is a gland, about six inches long, located in the abdomen that is surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, liver, spleen and gallbladder.
The pancreas is both an exocrine gland and endocrine gland:
Exocrine cells of the pancreas produce enzymes that help with digestion. The endocrine cells of the pancreas produce hormones, which are substances that control or regulate many specific functions in the body. The two main pancreatic hormones are insulin and glucagon. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels and glucagon raises blood sugar levels. Together, these two main hormones work to maintain the proper level of sugar in the blood.
Exocrine Tumors: Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow uncontrollably and form a tumor. More than 95% of pancreatic cancers are classified as exocrine tumors and more than 90% of these tumors are adenocarcinomas, where the cancer begins in the cells lining the pancreatic duct.
Rare forms of pancreatic cancers include:
Endocrine Tumors: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) account for less that 5% of all pancreatic cancers. They arise from the hormone producing cells in the pancreas called islet cells. PNETs are functional, meaning they produce hormones, or nonfunctional, producing no hormones. Most PNETs are nonfunctional and cancerous.
Treatments for Pancreatic cancer include:
Stage IA: Tumor is limited to the pancreas and measures less that 2 cm
Stage IB: Tumor is limited to the pancreas and is larger that 2 cm
Stage IIA: Tumor has extended beyond the pancreas but does not involve local arteries or lymph nodes
Stage 11B: Tumor has may have extended beyond the pancreas and local lymph nodes and without artery involvement
Stage III: Tumor involves major arteries (the celiac axis and/or superior mesenteric artery with or without lymph node involvement
Stage IV: Tumor has metastasized to another part of the body, including the liver, abdominal wall, lungs, and/or lymph nodes
The primary treatment for Stage III and Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer is chemotherapy:
Targeted Therapies for Pancreatic Cancers:
Surgical Procedures for Pancreatic cancer include:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Trials
The NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, is the federal agency that provides funding for most U.S. cancer clinical trials. This site provides information on both open and closed cancer clinical trials that are funded by the government, as well as many sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, medical centers, and some international organizations.
Pancreatic Cancer Network: National free patient advocacy and research network
Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP). CISCRP offers an online clinical trials search engine at SearchClinicalTrials.org. In addition, they provide a toll-free number where patients can receive help locating a clinical trial.
Centerwatch This site helps people connect with clinical trials by offering a list of institutional review board (IRB)-approved clinical trials.
ClinicalTrials.gov This database of publicly and privately supported clinical trials is maintained by the National Library of Medicine at the NIH.
Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups This organization provides resources and information in order for patients to search for clinical trials.
EmergingMed Navigator- This organization helps to identify clinical trial options that match a patient’s specific diagnosis, stage and treatment history. Clinical trial specialists can also provide telephone support to help connect eligible patients with IRB-approved study sites that are enrolling new participants.
WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates health matters within the United Nations. This database allows people to search clinical trial registration information from many countries’ registries.
Care Cares-Cancer education, counseling, and support groups
Pancreatic Cancer Educational Material from Celgene
Pancreatic Cancer Network-free patient resources
Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
Modifying Oncolytic Adenoviruses to Target Pancreatic Cancer
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European Society for Medical Oncology ESMO
June 25, 2014
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June 25, 2014
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Immunology Research Journal
June 18, 2014
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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN)
The National Pancreatic Foundation
The Pancreatic Center
Fighting Chance- free counseling service for cancer patients and caregivers