The preferred treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer is to remove the tumour by surgery (resection), unfortunately this is not possible for everyone and surgery is definitely not an option for the majority of patients. There is a group of patients who have borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. This means the cancer is very close or involving the major blood vessels in the pancreas. Surgery may be possible for these patients but is more difficult due to the stage of their disease; therefore some of these patients may not be able to have their tumour removed at their surgery.
This study is primarily a feasibility trial to see if it is acceptable to patients, possible to recruit patients on to the trial and recruit hospitals in a timely manner to take part in the trial. The trial will also investigate how successful any surgery has been for the patients involved. Should the trial be successful initially, we would like to increase the size of the study to increase the number of patients taking part.
By giving chemotherapy drugs or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to these patients, we are trying to identify whether any of these treatments is more effective than just attempting surgery alone and improves the outcomes for these patients.
We will also investigate if there are differences in certain proteins and other chemicals from the blood, pancreatic juice and tumour tissue of pancreatic cancer patients. This might allow us to predict which patients respond best to the different treatments.