Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Sep 21, 2021; 27(35): 5851-5889
Published online Sep 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i35.5851
Pancreatic cancer in 2021: What you need to know to win
Valeria Tonini, Manuel Zanni
Valeria Tonini, Department of Medical Sciences and Surgery, University of Bologna- Emergency Surgery Unit, IRCCS Sant’Orsola Hospital, Bologna 40121, Italy
Manuel Zanni, University of Bologna, Emergency Surgery Unit, IRCCS Sant'Orsola Hospital, Bologna 40121, Italy
Author contributions: Tonini V and Zanni M wrote the manuscript; both authors reviewed and approved the final version.
Conflict-of-interest statement: No conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Valeria Tonini, MD, PhD, Professor, Surgeon, Surgical Oncologist, Department of Medical Sciences and Surgery, University of Bologna- Emergency Surgery Unit, IRCCS Sant’Orsola Hospital, Via Massarenti 9, Bologna 40121, Italy.
Received: January 28, 2021
Peer-review started: January 28, 2021
First decision: June 14, 2021
Revised: July 14, 2021
Accepted: August 23, 2021
Article in press: August 23, 2021
Published online: September 21, 2021

Pancreatic cancer is one of the solid tumors with the worst prognosis. Five-year survival rate is less than 10%. Surgical resection is the only potentially curative treatment, but the tumor is often diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease and surgery could be performed in a very limited number of patients. Moreover, surgery is still associated with high post-operative morbidity, while other therapies still offer very disappointing results. This article reviews every aspect of pancreatic cancer, focusing on the elements that can improve prognosis. It was written with the aim of describing everything you need to know in 2021 in order to face this difficult challenge.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer treatment, Advanced pancreatic cancer, Metastatic pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic cancer surgery, Pancreatic cancer chemotherapy, Pancreatic cancer screening

Core Tip: Pancreatic cancer is a very dangerous enemy and the results are still very unsatisfactory. But we have not given up. Research is running fast on many paths, without losing its enthusiasm.The number of articles published on this subject in the last two years is impressive. I have tried to summarize all the most significant data from the different lines of research, ranging from screening and early diagnosis to new developments in surgery and associated therapies. I hope I have succeeded in the task of describing as comprehensively as possible the most promising fields of research available to us today, in order to achieve the improved results we desire.