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Rosen: Pancreatic cancer – a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge

Each year approximately 90 000 people in Europe are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is still associated with a difficult prognosis. In the United States of America, pancreatic cancer is considered to be only the ninth or tenth most commonly diagnosed cancer (depending on gender), but the fourth leading cause of death by cancer.

Although, overall, data on the prognosis of pancreatic cancer are not promising on first sight, survival rates have been improving incrementally, particularly over the past 10–15 years. Even long-term survival (5–10 years) can be achieved in a subset of patients who undergo radical surgery and who turn out to have favourable histopathological results following complete removal of the tumour.

However, exact preoperative staging in order to characterize those who will be candidates for surgery (only 15–20%), as well as considerable expertise in performing pancreatic surgery (based on a sufficient number of patients per year), are required to guarantee an optimal outcome (if possible).

This issue of Hamdan Medical Journal will provide its readers with an excellent overview of the current state of the art of diagnosis, staging and surgical, as well as conservative therapeutic, options for the treatment of this challenging disease.

As the editor-in-chief, I wish to express my gratitude to those international experts who have supported this issue with their excellent contributions covering the major aspects of the management of this disorder.

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