New cancer treatment may be more effective than previous ones

Research indicates that pancreatic cancer patients may live longer if they're treated with a particular four-drug combination treatment called folfirinox rather than the standard single cancer drug. According to medical professionals not involved with the research, folfirinox is likely to become the expected standard of care in Missouri and across the country for people with early-diagnosed pancreatic cancer.

The research indicated that nearly 40 percent of people who were treated with folfirinox were disease-free after an average of three years, compared with approximately 20 percent of the patients who were treated with Gemzar. Gemzar has been the standard drug for treating pancreatic cancer patients. A doctor with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center said the research may be reassuring for a disease that typically has a survival time of several months, rather than years.

Conducted between 2012 and 2016, the study included almost 500 individual patients from 77 medical centers in Canada and France. The patients were administered either the four-drug folfirinox every two weeks or Gemzar three times a month for a period of six months. The patients involved had the most common type of pancreatic cancer. Both treatments have common side effects that include fatigue, low blood count and diarrhea. However, the side effects were more common among the group that took folfirinox.

Approximately 330,000 cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed annually worldwide, with approximately 55,000 of those diagnoses occurring in the U.S. In a case where a person's diagnosis or treatment failed to meet the required standard of care, a lawyer may be able to help. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice law might examine the facts of the patient's situation and offer an opinion regarding the likely success of a legal claim. Individuals who have suffered harm due to medical malpractice could get compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages.

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