Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Options

Depending on the stage of pancreatic cancer, treatment options may include:


Potentially Curative Surgery:

  • If detected in early stages, pancreatic cancer may be treated by surgical resection1, which entails surgically removing the cancer. Unfortunately, fewer than 1 in 5 patients have pancreatic cancer confined to the pancreas at the time of diagnosis5 and are candidates for surgical resection.
  • A Whipple procedure, or Pancreaticoduodenectomy, is the most common surgical procedure to remove cancer in the pancreas5. During this procedure, the head of the pancreas is removed, along with nearby structures such as part of the small intestine, part of the bile duct, the gallbladder, lymph nodes near the pancreas, and sometimes part of the stomach. The remaining bile duct and pancreas are then attached to the small intestine so that bile and digestive enzymes can enter the small intestine. The pieces of the small intestine (or the stomach and small intestine) are then reattached as well so that food can pass through the digestive tract.5

Palliative Surgery:

  • Palliative surgery may be performed if tests indicate that the cancer is too widespread to be removed completely5. This surgery is performed to help relieve symptoms or to help prevent certain complications such as a blocked bile duct or intestine. Palliative surgery is not meant to cure the cancer, but instead help improve the patient’s quality of life by helping to control symptoms and complications1.

Neoadjuvent therapy (Chemotherapy and Radiation)

  • Neoadjuvant therapy is treatment that is provided before primary therapy5. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be performed to help shrink a tumor that is inoperable in its current state, so that it can be surgically removed. 

WallFlex™ Biliary RX Metal Stent

The WallFlex Biliary RX metal stent is FDA cleared for use in the treatment of biliary strictures (abnormal narrowing of the bile duct) produced by malignant neoplasms (cancerous cells) and relief of malignant biliary obstruction (blockage) prior to surgery.

The WallFlex Biliary RX metal stents may be an option for pancreatic cancer patients who are candidates for treatment to help relieve malignant biliary obstruction while they receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy in preparation for surgery.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


  1. National Pancreas Foundation.
  2. Web MD. 
  3. The Lustgarten Foundation.
  4. MD Andersen Cancer Center.
  5. American Cancer Society: ;

"My father was diagnosed with stage I pancreatic cancer in February 2008. Within a few days he had a Whipple procedure and he now lives an active life. Very few patients are as lucky as my father."

Lise Considine

Human Resources Director
Endoscopy Division
Boston Scientific

Patient Education: Biliary Metal Stents

Download Guide to Learn More

A biliary metal stent is a flexible metallic tube specifically designed to hold your bile duct open, which has been blocked or partially blocked. 

Download Guide to Learn More