Algarvian patient with ‘inoperable’ pancreatic cancer has successful surgery
A patient with pancreatic cancer, classified as inoperable and already referred for palliative care, was “rescued” by Hospital de São João, in Porto, and has undergone a “potentially curative” surgery.
img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” src=”http://algarvedailynews.com/images/news2/19144.jpg” alt=”ALGARVIAN PATIENT WITH ‘INOPERABLE’ PANCREATIC CANCER HAS SUCCESSFUL SURGERY” width=”160″ height=”107″ style=”margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;” />A patient with pancreatic cancer, classified as inoperable and already referred for palliative care, was “rescued” by Hospital de São João, in Porto, and has undergone a “potentially curative” surgery.
span>“The patient will now be monitored, but he has already entered the field of possibilities for healing. When he arrived at our hospital, he was in the field of palliative treatment. Now he is on his way home to the Algarve” where he comes from , said Humberto Cristino, a surgeon at the Hepatobilio-Pancreático Cancer Reference Centre at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João (CHUSJ).
span>According to the surgeon, “locally advanced pancreatic tumours with involvement of the celiac trunk are often considered inoperable”.
span>However, “currently and involving a multidisciplinary approach to pancreatic resection surgery, with complete removal of the tumour, it is the only potentially curative treatment of pancreatic tumours”, said Humberto Cristino.
span>This intervention, “known as the Appleby procedure, or distal pancreatectomy with resection of the celiac trunk, has been increasingly performed in selected centres of excellence, such as the São João Hospital, one of just a few hospitals in Portugal to perform it ”, explained the doctor.
span>This “highly complex” surgical technique of resection is not new, it was developed for cases of digestive cancer and, later, adapted by the Japanese to pancreatic cancer.
span>It was later replicated by other countries, including Portugal, and represents new hope for patients classified as inoperable.
span>“Pancreatic cancer is still a very thankless disease today and there are no other forms of treatment, other than surgery. This technique that has now arrived in Portugal allows the treatment of patients considered inoperable and undergoing chemotherapy. In this particular case, we know that biologically it is a favourable tumour and we believe that this patient will still have some good years to come ”, he stressed.
span>However, although this procedure, carried out in reference centres, allows those already referred for palliative care to be given hope, the specialist believes that “the future treatment of this tumour will not be what the world currently does”.
span>“For example, Hepatitis C had a very high mortality rate and is now treatable in 98% of cases. Pancreatic tumours, 20 years ago, had a 5% survival rate and today they still have a 5% survival rate, which means that this is not always the way, but this is still the only hope ”, he said.
span>Pancreatic tumour surgery has varying degrees of complexity and, according to this complexity, not all hospitals are qualified to perform it.
span>It is for this reason that this surgeon at CHUSJ calls for patients with this pathology considered inoperable to be referred to referral centres.
span>“With this technique, this was the first case, but we have been doing procedures on patients who have been rejected in other institutions, with good results”, he maintained.
span>Therefore, he argues that hospitals “should not own their patients”, they should refer them to institutions that have the capacity to offer the most advanced treatment available to them.
span>“A second opinion is very important, if the hospital considers that the case is closed and there are no more possibilities, the patient has the right to go to another specialist”, because, “it often happens that a patient is treated with palliative care it ends up cured ”, said the surgeon.
span>Of the patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, only 15% or 20% are operable, that is, there is “a huge range of patients who do not have a surgical option”.
span>Of the non-operable ones, only 20 to 30% of the cases will undergo other treatments, such as chemotherapy. It is these patients who must seek a referral centre to hear a second opinion and, eventually, undergo Appleby’s procedure.
em style=”color: #ffffff;”>Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/