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General Health : Drug News Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Neoadjuvant radiation boosts survival of pancreatic cancer
By David Liu, Ph.D.
Nov 25, 2008 - 6:16:34 PM

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Tuesday Nov 25, 2008 ( -- Prognosis for pancreatic cancer is extremely poor.   But a new study in the Nov. 15 2008 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics suggests that radiation prior to surgery may boost the survival odds for patients with pancreatic cancer.


The study led by Dr. David Sherr and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medical College showed that radiation therapy prior to surgery (adjuvant radiation) almost doubled survival in patients with operable tumors compared to those who did the surgery only.


For the study, the researchers looked at data from 3,885 cases of resected pancreatic cancer recorded between 1994 and 2003 in the National Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry.


They found the overall survival of patients who received radiation before surgery was 23 months compared with 17 months for those receiving surgery first and then radiation therapy and 12 months for patients who received surgery only.


With other factors considered, neoadjuvant radiation reduced the death risk for patients by 45 percent compared with other treatments and by 37 percent compared with post-surgical radiation.


"It may be that in shrinking the tumor, pre-operative radiation gives the surgeon more of a margin of healthy tissue to work with. Because of that, patients are less likely to have microscopic residual disease," Dr. Sherr speculated.


Pancreatic cancer is expected to be diagnosed in 37,680 men and women in the U.S. and kill 34,290 in the country in 2008, according to the National Cancer Institute.   Pancreatic cancer is often in late stages when it is diagnosed making it one of the most deadly cancers in the world.


As always, diet and lifestyle can not only determine one's risk of pancreatic cancer, but also his or her prognosis for this disease.   Your oncologist may not care, but you may want to take some advice from a brain tumor survivor Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.


Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh says in his book titled" Anticancer A New Way of Life that a patient diagnosed with pancreatic cancer followed a special diet full with anticancer phyto-chemicals and he were able to survive four and half a year.


Dr. Servan-Schreiber does not specify what the patient used, but gives out a whole list of anticancer fruits and vegetables including the most effective anticancer foods such as alliaceous and cruciferous vegetables like garlic, onion, leeks, broccoli etc.

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