positive news for those who may be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the future.

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Pancreatic Cancer – Hope for the future?

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Pancreatic cancer is a devastating diagnosis to receive. It is a disease that unfortunately shows very little specific symptoms in its early stages, so that by the time a patient is diagnosed, the prognosis is often not great. However, all sufferers should remember that statistics are just that – they are not specific to an individual.

Recent studies, which are in their pre-clinical trail stages, have revealed that Metformin, a drug routinely given to patients with type II diabetes, and with few, well tolerated side-effects, may assist in halting the progression of this form of cancer, although this was also given in combination with standard chemotherapy treatment. 

In pre-clinical trials, the drug is believed to attack not only the stem cells of the tumour, but also the more well differentiated cells forming the bulk of the tumour. These results were presented by Christopher Heeschen, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of experimental medicine at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, during a conference in Tahoe, Nevada, earlier this month.

Professor Heeschen rightly calls for further research and trials, but clearly any results such as these are welcome.

Anybody affected by pancreatic, or any other form of cancer, is recommended to discuss this with their treating Consultant and to contact Macmillan Cancer Support.

Kym Provan

Associate Solicitor - Clinical Negligence team.  

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