Spotlight on Pancreatic Cancer Treatment and Research


With notable cases of pancreatic cancer in the news this year, MSK held an Information Session for Patients and Caregivers with the goal of helping people understand the disease and sharing some of the encouraging breakthroughs in research and treatment. The session was moderated by Jeffrey Drebin, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Surgery at MSK. It also featured specialists in Medical Oncology, Pathology, Radiation Oncology and Nursing.

“We are seeing some definite progress in pancreas cancer over the last decade. One of the mainstays of treatment is combination chemotherapy and when we look back compared to a period of time ago, treatments are working better for longer for a given individual. But we clearly need to build on the current standards,” shared Eileen O’Reilly, MD, Section Head, Hepatopancreaticobilary and Neuroendocrine Cancers at MSK. “For everybody who is diagnosed with this disease – and these are recent guidelines – we recommend genetic screening in terms of looking at family blood line to see if there are any genes related to the development of pancreas cancer. But we also do a parallel detailed analysis on the tumor itself, and the integrated findings from both of those inform whether there are implications from a person’s family but also can guide specific treatment strategies. The hope is to be able to refine these treatments even more.”

MSK plans to continue these Patient and Caregiver Information Sessions on a regular basis to help address concerns from our larger community on a variety of cancer-related issues. Information on upcoming sessions and a recording of previous sessions can be heard on our website here.