Pancreatic cancer is not one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers, but it is one of the most lethal due to its early local extension and metastatic behaviour. Some of the reasons for this high fatality rate are the aggressiveness of the disease, its late diagnosis, especially since symptoms are unspecific and appear rather late, and the available limited therapeutic options.
In 2015, the Spanish Cooperative Group TTD – Tratamiento de los Tumores Digestivos (Digestive Tract Tumors Treatment) started to execute a pilot registry called PancreOS, aiming at collecting a comprehensive set of prospective data from pancreatic cancer patients at any stage of the disease.
The pilot project led in Spain has been a good example of what can be done at EU level for pancreatic cancer registries.
PCE endorsed the initiative and continues to expand it to more countries all across Europe.
Pancreatic cancer is the only cancer with mortality on the rise in both sexes. The late diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is notably due to the lack of identified biomarkers, genes or imaging modalities. Improved survival rates depend on improved knowledge of the disease, increasing the ability to diagnose it earlier. If advances in pancreatic cancer research are to be made and the commitments of Member States to effective cancer control fulfilled, then registries on pancreatic cancer are a prerequisite.
Malnutrition in cancer patients leads to poorer health outcomes and it results in an increased burden on healthcare resources.
In pancreatic cancer (the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in both genders), more than 80% of patients have a significant weight loss at the time of diagnosis, and develop severe cachexia over time. Therefore, early, aggressive nutritional support is essential.
Actual available nutritional therapies, in care centres as well as at home, such as enteral nutrition, parenteral nutrition and special nutritional supplements have a beneficial effect on nutritional status, quality of life and even on patients survival.