No standard treatment is available for advanced pancreatic cancer

R. Lionetto, V. Pugliese, P. Bruzzi, R. Rosso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


All randomised trials, published from 1980 to 1993, of treatments in advanced and locally unresectable exocrine pancreatic carcinoma were critically reviewed to identify the most effective therapeutic strategy for use as a control arm in randomised trials for such patients. All the published randomised trials on patients with pancreatic cancer were identified, and the treatment results summarised by means of published methodological guidelines. Twenty-seven reports, including 21 on hormonal or chemotherapy and six on radio/chemotherapy were identified. Very different treatment programmes were used in the trials, without a rationale sequence for testing hypotheses. Furthermore, several methodological drawbacks undermined both the internal and the external validity of these studies. Therefore, no meta-analysis can be conducted, combining the results of the randomised controlled trials in pancreatic cancer published from 1990 to 1993; no standard treatment is currently available for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer; future studies should screen new drugs or new combinations; and an untreated control group should be included in future comparative studies until real advantages in terms of better quality of life or improved survival are demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-887
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • drug therapy
  • pancreatic neoplasms
  • radiotherapy
  • random allocation
  • randomised controlled trial
  • review article
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Hematology

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