Korean J Gastroenterol.  2008 Feb;51(2):111-118.

Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yongtkim@snu.ac.kr


Chemotherapy is expected to play an important role in the treatment of pancreatic cancer because most of pancreatic cancers are being discovered at locally advanced or metastatic stages and recurrence rate is high even after the curative resection. Gemcitabine is a key agent for the first-line therapy of advanced pancreatic cancer. It can enhance the quality of life and prolong the survival of patients. Combination of erlotinib or capecitabine with gemcitabine showed a marginal survival benefit over single-agent gemcitabine. If patient's performance state is good, gemcitabine-based platinum combination therapy showed overall survival benefit compared with gemcitabine monothrapy. If the first-line palliative chemotherapy fails, 5-FU, capcitabine, or tegafur with or without combination can be used as the second-line agents. Adjuvant chemotherapy using 5-FU or gemcitabine after curative resection has overall survival benefit. However, neoadjuvant chemotherapy has not been proven to be effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.


Pancreatic cancer; Chemotherapy

MeSH Terms

Antimetabolites/therapeutic use
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic/therapeutic use
Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
Deoxycytidine/analogs & derivatives/therapeutic use
Fluorouracil/analogs & derivatives/therapeutic use
Pancreatic Neoplasms/*drug therapy
Protein Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use
Quinazolines/therapeutic use
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