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Dr. O'Reilly on Areas of Research in Pancreatic Cancer

Eileen O’Reilly, MD, associate director for clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discusses areas of research for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Eileen O’Reilly, MD, associate director for clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discusses areas of research for patients with pancreatic cancer.

The focus of research in pancreatic cancer has mainly been in the metastatic setting, explains O’Reilly. There will be a rise in the incidence of pancreatic cancer making early detection an important area of study. There have been some early hints of the ability to identify who might be at risk.

For example, in certain families where there is a genetic driver of the disease, such as a BRCA mutation or Lynch syndrome, some physicians may recommend family members get screened as they may be carriers.

Bringing drugs that had traditionally been developed for patients with early-stage disease to patients whose tumors were resected could help increase the cure rate, says O’Reilly.

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