People who receive chemotherapy after surgery for operable pancreatic cancer have a higher chance of surviving the illness, according to research.
Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis, with only 2% to 3% of patients surviving for five years or more.
The recent study, published in the British Journal of Cancer and funded by Cancer Research UK, found that patients given chemotherapy after surgery had a 30% higher chance of living than those who only underwent surgery.
The research by experts at the University of Liverpool involved patients receiving the drug 5FU alongside folinic acid.
About 7,600 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year and around eight in 10 cases occur in people over the age of 60. The drugs used to treatment the disease are available on the NHS.
Lead researcher Professor John Neoptolemos said: “Pancreatic cancer continues to be one of the hardest cancers to treat and has very low survival rates.
“These results show that chemotherapy after surgery is the best way to treat patients, giving people precious extra months or even years of life.”
Copyright Press Association 2009