In other news from the same meeting, Japanese researchers found that a new chemo drug may extend the lives of certain patients with pancreatic cancer that can be treated with surgery. Of patients given the drug -- called S-1 -- after surgery, 70 percent were still alive two years later. That compared with 53 percent of patients who were given an older, standard drug called gemcitabine.
Because pancreatic cancer is usually found late, only 20 percent to 30 percent of patients are candidates for surgery. And S-1 appears to work best for Asian patients; earlier studies have found that white patients tend to suffer more severe side effects.
S-1 is currently approved in Japan and several other Asian countries, and in much of Europe. It is not approved in the United States, but is being studied here as a treatment for stomach cancer.
Learn more about pancreatic cancer from the American Cancer Society.
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