Surgical operation to remove cancer has been considered as only one method of treatment for permanent cure of pancreatic cancer. However, when pancreatic cancer is identified, the percentage of cases with complete removal is from 20 to 30, which is rather low. Moreover, it is considered as a kind of cancer with a less favorable prognosis as the 5-year survival rate after the surgery remains as only 20%. For the past 20 to 30 years, there hasn’t been any breakthrough in treatment method for pancreatic cancer and the rates have always remained low.
In August, 2012, it was discovered that when S-1, oral anticancer drug, was administered as supplementary chemotherapy after surgery to pancreatic cancer patients with removable cancer, the death rate of went down by 44% compared with the cases with conventional treatment by gemcitabine. At the SCC, this has been immediately brought to the clinical use since then.
At the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium of the ASCO(American Society of Clinical Oncology) Annual Meeting (ASCO-GI2013 in San Francisco, USA), the chief researcher Katsuhiko Uesaka, M.D.,Ph.D., the deputy director of the SCC Hospital and the head of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, made a presentation on the result of this study. It received a huge response from the ASCO members, which led to the Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Guideline Revision Committee (March 23, 2013, in Kagoshima, Japan) where conventional treatment methods were discussed.
In the chapter of supplementary chemotherapy after surgery of “Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Guideline 2013,” the sole therapy with S-1 is recommended as a regimen of the supplementary chemotherapy after surgery. S-1 is now taken as a new standard treatment method for supplementary chemotherapy after surgery.