In Chicago, on June 4th, was held the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), during which an interesting communication was made. The news comes from France, more precisely from Nancy.

Already three years ago, the team of the Cancer Institute of Lorraine had shown that a combination of 3 chemotherapy products was effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer with immediate localizations in the liver. What they present now is the use of this same “Folfirinox” protocol after an attempt to cure the pancreas when it is operable (that is, without localization outside the pancreas). It is a heavy surgery with often life-long sequelae (diabetes, digestive disorders, etc.). Only 10% of patients are operable and 2/3 will relapse with conventional treatments. The combination of 3 chemos, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan and oxaliplatin, is difficult to tolerate. But the results are there: about 250 patients received this chemo after the operation, and 250 received the standard treatment (a single chemo, gemcitabine).
Three years later, the benefit is considerable for the group treated with folfirinox. More than half, instead of one third, are without recidivism. will there be more definitive healings? It’s likely, but it will take a few more years to be sure.

The next step: make this Folfirinox protocol before surgery to increase the number of patients who could benefit from surgery, the only way to cure this formidable cancer to date.

More info on the ASCO website: https://www.cancer.net/blog/2018-06/asco-annual-meeting-2018-treatment-changes-pancreatic-cancer-and- colorectal-cancer