Drugs in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer can be treated using chemotherapeutic drugs alone, or by the usage of drugs along with other treatments. The following are the drugs approved for pancreatic cancer:

Picture of a book with the words pancreatic cancer written on it

  • Paclitaxel Albumin-stabilized Nanoparticle Formulation:

This drug is approved to be given alone, or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of metastasized pancreatic cancer. It is often combined with gemcitabine hydrochloride.

  • Everolimus:

This is used in the treatment of progressive neuroendocrine tumors that are locally advanced or metastasized and cannot be removed by surgery. It is given only to adults.

  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride:

This drug is often used in combination with gemcitabine hydrochloride when the tumours cannot be removed by surgery and has metastasized.

  • Gemcitabine Hydrochloride:

This is used in the treatment of advanced or metastasized pancreatic cancer. It is given patients who have been treated with chemotherapy and to those whose tumours cannot be removed by surgery.

  • Irinotecan Hydrochloride Liposome:

This drug is approved to be given with fluorouracil and leucovorin to treat metastasized pancreatic cancer. It is prescribed to the patients whose disease got severe after the usage of gemcitabine.

  • Mitomycin C:

It is used to treat pancreatic adenocarcinoma which has been locally advanced or metastasized. It is prescribed to patients who haven’t shown any progress with other types of treatments.

  • Sunitinib Malate:

This drug is prescribed for locally advanced or metastasized progressive neuroendocrine tumours.

Drug combinations used for pancreatic cancer:

Chemotherapeutic drugs are often given as a combination of drugs for treating pancreatic cancer. These are more effective than the drugs given alone. Following are the drug combinations used for treating pancreatic cancer:

  • Folfirinox:

Used in treating metastasized pancreatic cancer. This is a combination of the following

1. FOL – Leucovorin Calcium (Folinic Acid)
2. F – Fluorouracil
3. IRIN – Irinotecan Hydrochloride
4. OX – Oxaliplatin

  • Gemcitabine-Cisplatin:

This drug is a combination of

1. Gemcitabine hydrochloride
2. Cisplatin

  • Gemcitabine-Oxaliplatin:

This drug is used to treat pancreatic cancers and is a combination of

1. Gemcitabine hydrochloride
2. Oxaliplatin

  • OFF:

This is used to treat advances pancreatic cancer which has got worse after giving gemcitabine hydrochloride. It is a combination of

1. O – Oxaliplatin

2. F – Fluorouracil

3. F – Leucovorin Calcium (Folinic acid)

Drugs for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours:

  • Lanreotide Acetate:

Used for locally advanced or metastasized pancreatic cancer and for those whose tumours cannot be removed by surgery.

  • Lutetium Lu 177-Dotatate:

Prescribed only to adult patients whose cancer is somatostatin receptor positive.

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