Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

Chemotherapy uses drugs to damage or destroy cancer cells. We inject, or infuse, a combination of medications into the bloodstream to attack cancer cells in the pancreas or, if the cancer has spread, in other areas of the body. 

Our multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer team includes medical oncologists, physicians who specialize in the administration of chemotherapy. They will work closely with you to customize the most appropriate treatment. 

Types of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer

Chemotherapy may be used at various stages of pancreatic cancer:

  • Before surgery (neoadjuvant treatment) to prevent disease progression, as well as to try to shrink the tumor. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is sometimes given along with radiation prior to surgery.
  • After surgery (adjuvant treatment) to try to prevent disease progression or to kill any microscopic cancer cells that may be in the body. Adjuvant chemotherapy is sometimes given along with radiation, following surgery.

Chemotherapy also is commonly used when the cancer is advanced and can’t be removed completely with surgery, or if surgery isn’t an option for some other reason. 

Your medical oncologist will outline your chemotherapy treatment options and what to expect during your chemotherapy treatment.

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