Pancreatic cancer survival rate half as good as thought

Only 3% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients survive for five years

The survival rate for most the most common type of pancreatic cancer is half as good as previously thought, a study shows.

Just 3% of people with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which impacts 95% of patients, will still be alive after five years, the research, reported in the Telegraph, found.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the true figures have been masked because they are published collectively with another type called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours or PNET, which has a far higher survival rate.

The most recent survival statistics for England show that less than 7% of patients overall will live for five years or more. 

Diana Jupp, chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said the survival rate “is completely unacceptable and it simply cannot be ignored”.

“Due to increased research investment, in recent years we have seen outstanding progress in other cancers such as breast and prostate, and a shocking lack of progress for pancreatic,” she added.

The charity is calling for data on pancreatic cancer to be broken down by type in addition to the overall figures about the disease.