Pancreatic cancer 'breakthrough' more hype than reality

Media reports of a “monumental leap forward” in pancreatic cancer chemotherapy are more hype than reality, a critical review suggests.

The combination of capecitabine and gemcitabine is described in media coverage as “one of the biggest ever breakthroughs prolonging survival for pancreatic cancer patients,”  based on comments by patient lobby groups around improved five-year survival rates.

The claims relate to a randomised trial in 732 patients with pancreatic cancer, which compared treatment with capecitabine and gemcitabine against gemcitabine alone.