Medical oncology and pancreatic cancer: what the radiologist needs to know.
Abdom Radiol (NY). 2018 Feb;43(2):383-392. doi: 10.1007/s00261-017-1432-9. Fogelman DR1, Varadhachary G2.
The majority of PCs present as advanced disease, and treatment goals are for prolongation of life and palliation of the symptoms. Oncologists rely on our radiology colleagues to provide information on the extent of disease and the effectiveness of our treatment. The stakes rise in those patients where the disease has seemingly not spread and who might be treated with a goal of cure. For this subset of patients, medical oncologists and surgeons require as precise a radiologic description as possible in order to most accurately characterize the extent of the disease, in turn informing us as to the likelihood of a successful surgery and potential cure. In this paper, we review the fine points of imaging that distinguish resectable from borderline or unresectable patients, explain the principles of neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer, highlight some of the novel therapies now being pioneered in pancreatic cancer, and review radiologic features important for palliative care in patients with these tumors.