BioScience Trends. 2021;15(3):135-137. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01103)

Trends in the treatment of pancreatic cancer in Japan

Matsuki R, Arai T, Kogure M, Suzuki Y, Sakamoto Y


Pancreatic cancer is known to have the poorest prognosis among digestive cancers. With the development of new chemotherapeutic agents and introduction of multidisciplinary therapy, however, the treatment outcomes for pancreatic cancer have dramatically improved over the past two decades. The keys to successful treatment will be accurate assessment of resectability [resectable (R), borderline resectable (BR) or unresectable (UR)] at the time of diagnosis and prompt adoption of an appropriate multidisciplinary treatment strategy. Prep-02/JSAP-05 trial which is an RCT of upfront surgery versus neoadjuvant chemotherapy using GEM and S-1 (GS) and subsequent surgery for R-PDAC in Japan indicated neoadjuvant chemotherapy had a longer overall survival (OS) than those undergoing upfront surgery (36.7M vs. 26.6M, p = 0.015). In a retrospective multicenter study in Japan reported that in BR-PDAC, median survival time (MST) in the pretreatment group was significantly better than that in the upfront surgery group (25.7 months vs. 19.0 months, p = 0.015) according to a propensity score matching analysis. Another retrospective multicenter study with UR-LA PDAC in Japan reported that conversion surgery was more beneficial for patients with more than 8 months of preoperative therapy than those with less than 8 months of that therapy. Various clinical trials on pancreatic cancer are ongoing, and the results of trials on chemotherapeutic regimens and multidisciplinary treatments will be of further interest.

KEYWORDS: pancreatic cancer, resectability, multidisciplinary treatment

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