Author(s): Ishikawa T
Unresectable pancreatic cancers have an extremely dismal prognosis and chemoresistant nature. The treatment of pancreatic cancer is still problematic. Gemcitabine is a promising new agent that has been studied recently for palliation of advanced pancreatic cancer. However, the response rates have been highly variable, and are often irreproducible. To improve this low response rate, various treatments are needed because no standard treatment exists. Intra-arterial chemotherapy is considered to take advantage of the first pass effect of the drug, generating higher local drug concentrations in tumor cells with lower toxicity. Regional intra-arterial chemotherapy may provide high levels of cytostatic concentrations within the tumor and, simultaneously, a low rate of systemic side effects compared with systemic administration of anti-neoplastic drugs. Intra-arterial chemotherapy has been introduced as an alternative treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. Further clinical trials of this method should be subjected to a prospective randomized controlled study for advanced pancreatic cancer.