WPCC Key Messages

The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC) created the following evidence-based public statements to bring consistency to how WPCC members share information about the disease, support, treatment and more. Each statement is supported by the latest guidelines and/or published research, as referenced below.

Clinical Trials

Key message:  The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition strongly recommends that everyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is given the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial.

Evidence: Pancreatic cancer patients who participate in clinical research have better outcomes. Clinical trials can advance research and improve treatment options

Cancer Net: About Clinical Trials

FDA Clinical Research vs. Medical Treatment

National Institute of Health (NIH): NIH Clinical Research Trials and You

Pancreatic Cancer Trials and Accrual in the United States

NIH: Clinical Research Trials and You – Why Should I Participate in a Clinical Trial?

NCCN Guidelines: Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic cancer: Survival in clinical trials versus the real world

Patient and caregiver awareness of pancreatic cancer treatments and clinical trials

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Diet and Nutrition

Key message: The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition recommends that everyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer has their nutritional needs assessed by someone with nutritional expertise, is offered information about diet and nutrition, and has access to pancreatic enzymes.

Evidence: Nutritional care, including supplemental pancreatic enzymes, improves pancreatic cancer patient outcomes and is critical for quality of life.

Nutritional intervention and quality of life in adult oncology patients

Enzyme replacement therapy for pancreatic insufficiency: present and future

Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency in Patients with Pancreatic or Periampullary Cancer: A Systematic Review

Diagnosing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency after surgery: when and which patients to treat

Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) for malabsorption in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency following pancreatic resection

Weight stabilization is associated with improved survival duration and quality of life in unresectable pancreatic cancer

Enzyme replacement improves survival among patients with pancreatic cancer: Results of a population-based study

Pancreas exocrine replacement therapy is associated with increased survival following pancreatoduodenectomy for periampullary malignancy

Enzyme replacement improves survival among patients with pancreatic cancer: Results of a population-based study

Impact of the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency on survival of patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer: a retrospective analysis

Prevalence of symptomatic pancreatic exocrine insufficiency in patients with pancreatic malignancy intervention may improve survival

The effectiveness of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy for malabsorption
in advanced pancreatic cancer, a pilot study

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Patient Support

Key message: The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition recommends that all patients and their family and caregivers are provided information about where to access support.

Evidence: Support for pancreatic cancer patients improves quality of life and overall well-being, yet patients report high levels of unmet supportive care needs.

Importance of social support in cancer patients

Patients with cancer and family caregivers: management of symptoms caused by cancer or cancer therapy at home

Pancreatic Cancer UK Patient Survey, Oxford Brookes University and the Picker Institute, 2018

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Symptom Management and Supportive Care Needs

Key message: The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition recommends that pancreatic cancer patients have their symptom management and supportive care needs addressed at all stages of treatment.

Evidence: Access to healthcare professionals who focus on symptom management and supportive care improves outcomes and is critical for quality of life.

Pain services and palliative medicine – an integrated approach to pain management in the cancer patient


Cancer pain relief and palliative care. Report of a WHO Expert Committee


Randomized trial of early integrated palliative and oncology care


Determinants and prognostic value of quality of life in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma


Depression and pancreatic cancer


Integration of Palliative Care into Standard Oncology Care: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Update


NIH Panel: Treatment of Cancer Pain, Depression, & Fatigue Needs More Attention


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High-Risk Individuals

Key message: The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition recommends increased awareness of family history and access to genetic counselling to assess individual risk, as well as testing for those who are eligible.

Evidence: People with two or more first-degree relatives who have had pancreatic cancer, a first-degree relative who developed pancreatic cancer before the age of 50, or an inherited genetic syndrome associated with pancreatic cancer may have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Importance of Age of Onset in Pancreatic Cancer Kindreds


International Cancer of the Pancreas Screening (CAPS) Consortium summit on the management of patients with increased risk for familial pancreatic cancer


Familial Pancreatic Cancer


Hereditary pancreatic cancer: related syndromes and clinical perspective


Increased risk of incident pancreatic cancer among first-degree relatives of patients with familial pancreatic cancer


Risk of Different Cancers Among First-degree Relatives of Pancreatic Cancer Patients: Influence of Probands’ Susceptibility Gene Mutation Status


Pancreatic cancer in adults: diagnosis and management


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Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Key message: The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition recommends increased awareness of pancreatic cancer and the following symptoms that people may experience:

  • Abdominal and mid-back pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Changes in stool
  • New-onset diabetes
  • Digestive problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood change

Evidence: Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in the early stages, and symptoms can be vague.

Detecting early pancreatic cancer: problems and prospects


Understanding symptom appraisal and help-seeking in people with symptoms suggestive of pancreatic cancer: a qualitative study


“It can’t be very important because it comes and goes”—patients’ accounts of intermittent symptoms preceding a pancreatic cancer diagnosis: a qualitative study


A case–control study comparing the incidence of early symptoms in pancreatic and biliary tract cancer


The risk of pancreatic cancer in symptomatic patients in primary care: a large case–control study using electronic records


Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer: The Role of Depression and Anxiety as a Precursor for Disease


View Sources

Pancreatic Cancer Risks

Key message: The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition recommends increased awareness of the following pancreatic cancer risks:

  • Inherited genetic mutations
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Family history of other cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis (chronic and hereditary)
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Race (ethnicity)
  • Age
  • Diet

Evidence: Research studies have identified the above as risk factors that may increase the likelihood that someone will develop pancreatic cancer.


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