At Memorial Sloan Kettering, our mission has always been a singular one: to care for and cure people with cancer. As part of this goal, we’ve worked for decades to find new options for people with pancreatic cancer who are not helped by the usual treatments. Many of our innovations and approaches have set the standard for care of this disease around the world.
In addition we are:
- exploring new techniques to reduce possible complications of surgery
- investigating biomarkers (measurable materials, such as proteins and genes) that help us tell the difference between benign (noncancerous) and precancerous lesions in the pancreas
- testing whether pancreatic cancer stem cells can be used to predict which chemotherapy regimens will be most effective for individual patients
- working to develop targeted treatments, including using a new class of drugs called PARP inhibitors for people with a higher genetic risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- exploring the use of novel immunotherapy treatments that use the immune system to fight pancreatic cancer.
Through our Pancreatic Tumor Registry we study environmental and inherited risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Many of our participants are living with pancreatic cancer, or have many family members who have had it.
Clinical Trials for Pancreatic Cancer
You may be offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial at some point during your treatment with us. Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatment approaches for diseases. In some cases, a study may give you access to new therapies that are not yet widely available.
Sometimes we use clinical trials to compare diagnostic tests, prevention strategies, or other aspects of care.
We only conduct trials that we believe may improve some aspect of treatment and outcomes. You should always discuss the pros and cons of participating in a clinical trial with your doctor.
We are using next generation sequencing methods to determine the unique features of each patient’s cancer. This type of information helps us better understand genetic features of pancreatic cancers that come back (recur) after treatment, for example, and the value of liquid biopsies in determining the effectiveness of certain treatments. (A liquid biopsy analyzes free-floating DNA in a blood sample.)