Home » Cancer Types » Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer – new treatments

Pancreatic cancer can develop from two kinds of cells in the pancreas:
exocrine cells and neuroendocrine cells, such as islet cells. The exocrine type is more common and is usually found at an advanced stage. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (islet cell tumors) are less common but have a better prognosis. – National Cancer Institute.

General Information About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (Islet Cell Tumors)

Marisa is 20-year Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer Survivor

YouTube player

Read full story on LetsWinPancreaticCancer website

See Terminal Cancer Patient Says Vegan Diet Is Reason She’s Still Alive Five Years Later

More long-term survivor stories below.

Non-standard treatments for Pancreatic cancer

1. Non-conventional treatments
2. Anti-cancer drugs
3. Off-label drugs
4. GP administered treatments
5. Dietary therapies
6. Natural plants
7. Over the counter supplements
8. Integrated treatments
9. Other

Caution:  Always seek medical advice before you undertake any treatment.


New pancreatic cancer treatment may add years to the lives of those facing death

Phase III Clinical Trials are currently underway to test a new chemo delivery system for use in pancreatic cancer treatment.

Here’s an excerpt from an online report in the Miami Herald:
Coined RenovoCath — Latin for revive, restore and repair — the new device is a sleek catheter that’s inserted through an artery in the groin, into the pancreas and through a tumor. Then, two silicone balloons on either end of the device inflate, trapping the sponge-like mass and delivering a high-dose of an existing chemotherapy called gemcitabine directly into it.

The new technique minimizes drug leakage into the rest of the body, which means little to no side effects…

Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, which began in 2015, show the new technique nearly doubled the median survival rate of the traditional treatment from about 14 months to 28 months. The results were published in the Journal of Pancreatic Cancer in 2017.


The Study Concluded: The results demonstrate feasibility of localized and selective intra-arterial chemotherapy delivery to the pancreas utilizing the RenovoCath. With gemcitabine, this approach is safe, with the sole prerequisite of perioperative antibiotics for patients with prior biliary drainage/stent. Efficacy results suggest a survival benefit when compared to historical control, especially in patients with prior radiation therapy.

YouTube player

1. Non-conventional treatment options

Gonzalez Protocol
A successful alternative therapy that is being studied as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. It includes a special diet, nutritional supplements, pancreatic enzymes, and coffee enema’s. The Gonzalez Protocol is available online at The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation website.

Pancreatic enzymes
Pancreatic enzymes help break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Pancreatic insufficiency is the inability of the pancreas to secrete the enzymes needed for digestion. Having an insufficient amount of pancreatic enzymes is very common among people with pancreatic cancer.

See Gonzalez Protocol page
See Case Reports of long-term (including 15-year) survivors
See Pancreatic Enzymes page

You can buy Pancreatic Enzymes in a health shop or here

Metabolic Treatment (CISA protocol)
A metabolic treatment based on the nutri-pharmacological blockade of aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect), and glutaminolysis.

(Note: The studies below were carried out in the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and the treatment doesn’t yet appear to be available anywhere else).

This 2018 research article says: Twenty two patients were evaluated -9 women and 13 men, mean age 58, 5 years (30-75) – out of which 11 had not undergone any previous treatment (naïve), and 13 presented metastasis at the time of diagnosis. Our Metabolic Therapy of pancreatic cancer has shown an overall one-year survival rate of 72% for the group of patients included in the CISA protocol. Remarkably, patients without metastasis at the time of diagnosis had a one-year survival rate of 100%, a two year survival rate of 100%, and an impressive three-year survival rate of 55.6%. The magnitude of the effects observed suggests that the treatment program allows for a substantial increase in the one-year survival rate. It should be considered that for the treated group as a whole overall survival reached an average of 26 months, a significantly longer period than that reported worldwide, which stands at 4,5 (3-6) months. 

This 2019 study of 27 patients from the same institution found:

Results: Following up on a previous Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial on the metabolic therapy of exocrine pancreatic cancer, these authors have found that the one-Year Survival rate (YS) of our study (N=27) has remained above 70%, while overall survival (OS) increased to 27,82 (4-76) months. The YS of the subset of patients with no metastasis at the time of diagnosis stayed at 100%. It has become apparent that OS of the treated group has come to be 5.6 times the OS reported worldwide, which stands at 4,5 (3-6) months.

Conclusion: The magnitude of the observed effects suggests that the metabolic therapy of pancreatic cancer allows for a substantial increase in both parameters of survival, particularly in patients with no metastatic lesions at T0.

SEF Chemo: New treatment with no side-effects?

Berkeley Institute International are treating patients with SEF Chemo – a new treatment that is reportedly side-effects free. Here is some info from its website:

For decades, doctors and researchers have been trying to figure a way—without success—to deliver chemo agents directly to cancerous cells without harming healthy tissue. Dr. Matsumura, and his team of dedicated scientists at the ALIN Foundation, tried a different approach: protect the body by using antidotes to neutralize the damage to normal cells and negate the toxic side effects commonly associated with chemotherapy. Dr. Matsumura developed a novel method in their use that produced a powerful new therapy without the dosage-limiting side effects of cancer drugs. While normal cells are protected, cancer drugs can be employed in higher doses to eradicate the dividing cancer cells not protected by the antidote.
See SEF Chemo page

2. Anti-Cancer Drugs

Ukrain is a drug based on the extract of the plant Chelidonium majus L (greater chelandine). It is claimed to be effective against a range of cancers.
Available from a pharmacy in Vienna, Austria.

The Ukrainian Anti Cancer Institute has this on it’s website:
Incredible results of the treatment of pancreatic cancer were achieved during clinical research studies with NSC-631570 (UKRAIN) carried out by Associate Professor Gansauge and Professor Hans Beger in Germany. They showed that 30% of pancreatic cancer patients lived more than 5 years after treatment with NSC 631570, while medical statistics show that after conventional treatment methods patients with the same diagnosis live only 4-6 months and only 2.2% of them reach the 5-year-survival rate.

This study concluded: We could show that in unresectable advanced pancreatic cancer, NSC-631570 [ukrain] alone and in combination with gemcitabine nearly doubled the median survival times in patients suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.

This study says its results suggest that Ukrain can exert some effects on pancreatic tumor progression.

“Ukrain is capable of improving the general conditions and prolonging the lives of terminal cancer patients by boosting their immune systems and inhibiting tumour growth.”
Douglas Brodie, M.D.

See UKRAIN page

Drug combination – Metformin and Aspirin
Combination of metformin with aspirin significantly inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer cells, according to this 2017 study

Metformin is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Aspirin is an everyday painkiller for aches and pains such as headache, toothache and period pain.

Drug combination – Trametinib plus Hydroxychloroquine
Trametinib (trade name Mekinist) is a cancer drug.
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-rheumatic drug.

This 2019 study found: treatment of a PDA [Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma] patient with the combination of trametinib plus hydroxychloroquine resulted in a partial, but nonetheless striking disease response. These data suggest that this combination therapy may represent a novel strategy to target RAS-driven cancers.

Olaparib (Lynparza)
A drug used to treat adults with certain types of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, or breast cancer. Lynparza blocks an enzyme involved in many cell functions, including the repair of DNA damage. Blocking this enzyme may help keep cancer cells from repairing their damaged DNA, causing them to die. Lynparza is a type of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. Also called AZD2281, olaparib, and PARP inhibitor AZD2281. – National Cancer Institute.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website says: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the treatment Lynparza® (olaparib) for use in a group of pancreatic cancer patients: those with stage IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma who have germline (inherited) BRCA mutations and whose tumors did not progress after treatment with a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.
More info at lynparza.com

3. Off-label Drugs

When a doctor prescribes a drug to treat one condition with a drug that is approved to treat a different condition, it is said to be off-label use. It is a common practice.

Care Oncology Clinics
The Care Oncology Clinic is a London based cancer clinic offering metabolic and immune stimulating medical treatment using existing licensed safe medicines that aim to fight patients’ disease while preserving an acceptable quality of life. Here is the Pancreatic Cancer page on the clinic’s website.

Metformin (anti diabetes drug)
In human cancer cells of different origin, metformin has been shown to induce cell cycle arrest, growth inhibition and apoptosis…As demonstrated in a number of recent studies,
metformin is able to selectively target Cancer Stem Cells in different types of human cancers, including breast, pancreatic and thyroid cancer. In particular, metformin has been shown to selectively kill Cancer Stem Cells in four genetically different types of human breast cancer, according to this study

Diabetes drug slows down growth of pancreatic cancer
Source: The Indian Express

Metformin — a commonly used generic medication for type 2 diabetes — decreases the inflammation and fibrosis characteristic of the most common form of pancreatic cancer, the researchers said.

Researchers are likely to have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of the common diabetes drug metformin to inhibit the progression of pancreatic cancer.

Diabetic patients taking metformin have a reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Among patients who develop the tumour, those taking the drug may have a reduced risk of death, the study revealed.

See Metformin page

A group of drugs which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood.

This study found: A total of 797 patients were assessed in the current study; of which 156 patients received statins and 641 did not receive statins. Using Kaplan–Meier survival estimates, patients who received statins seem to have better overall and progression-free survival compared to patients who did not.

This study found: In summary, this meta-analysis provided preliminary evidence that statin or metformin use may improve the survival time among pancreatic cancer patients. These two drugs have been prescribed for other purposes for many years but should be further investigated, both individually and in combination for therapeutic repurposing for pancreatic cancer patient survival.

This study notes: The efficacy of statins as anticancer agents has been evaluated both in monotherapy and in combination therapy with currently used chemotherapeutic drugs. To a varying degree of success, studies have shown the potential mortality benefits of statin consumption in patients with different types of cancers, which include esophageal, breast, lung, liver, pancreatic, endometrial, and colorectal cancer.

Beta Blockers (BBs)
Beta blockers are widely prescribed for angina, heart failure and some heart rhythm disorders, and to control blood pressure.

This Review found: Several studies indicate that BBs, particularly the nonselective ones such as propranolol, may inhibit the damage induced by catecholamines stimulation of the adrenoreceptors in pancreatic cancer patients…Authors concluded that BBs may inhibit progression of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and may be a complement for current therapies in order to prevent cell damage in pancreatic cancer patients…the use of BBs was associated with a reduction of cancer-specific mortality rate.

This review says: To investigate the association between administration of beta-blocker and cancer prognosis, we performed a meta-analysis…Thirty-six studies involving 319,006 patients were included…Among the cancer types, positive associations between beta-blocker use and cancer prognosis were observed in breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and melanoma…

This study of 457 patients who were taking beta-blockers at the time of diagnosis found non-selective β-blocker use in patients with resected Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma was associated with longer overall survival.

This study of 2,394 pancreatic cancer patients found: In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that inhibition of β-adrenergic receptor signaling pathways may impede progression of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and suggest that β-blockers may complement existing treatment modalities for these patients. 

 Itraconazole is a prescription medication used to treat fungal infections of the toenails and fingernails

According to Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO), Clinical trials have shown that patients with prostate, lung, and basal cell carcinoma have benefited from treatment with itraconazole, and there are additional reports of activity in leukaemia, ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers…There is evidence that that it may also be applicable to a number of other cancers, including glioblastoma, breast, pancreatic, and ovarian. 

Jane McLelland – How to starve cancer
Jane McLelland was first diagnosed with cervical cancer and then  developed leukemia after chemotherapy treatment and was deemed Stage 4, Grade 4 in 1999. She beat her cancer by using a mixture of diet, exercise, supplements, herbs and off-label drugs to block the metabolic pathways that fuelled her cancer. Many others are now following her example. The protocols she used can be found in her book How to Starve Cancer.
Learn more at her website howtostarvecancer.com and Facebook page

4. GP administered treatments

Intravenous Vitamin C
In Dr Linus Pauling (winner of 2 Nobel Prizes) and Dr Ewan Cameron’s paper “Ascorbic Acid and Cancer: A Review” – published with Brian Leibovitz in Cancer Research in March 1979, they state:
Our own clinical studies, discussed in several publications, strongly indicate that supplemental ascorbate not only increases well-being but also produces a statistically significant increase in the survival times of advanced cancer patients. Present evidence suggests to us that supplemental ascorbate can offer some degree of benefit to all advanced cancer patients and quite remarkable benefit to a fortunate few and that it has even greater potential value in the supportive treatment of earlier and more favorable patients…

This study says: In small phase I clinical studies, intravenously administered ascorbate was safe. Survival was doubled in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer

This study says: Recent studies have demonstrated that high-dose, intravenous pharmacological ascorbate (ascorbic acid, vitamin C) induces cytotoxicity and oxidative stress selectively in pancreatic cancer cells vs. normal cells, suggesting a promising new role of ascorbate as a therapeutic agent.

This study says: Here, we report the use of PAA [Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma ] in a patient with poorly differentiated stage IV PDA as an exclusive chemotherapeutic regimen. The patient survived nearly 4 years after diagnosis, with PAA as his sole treatment, and he achieved objective regression of his disease.

Eicosapentaenoic acid
Patients with pancreas cancer treated with supplements of fish oil capsules (EPA and docosahexaenoic acid) showed body weight gain accompanied by significant reduction in acute-phase protein production and by stabilization of resting energy expenditure. While nutritional supplement alone did not attenuate the development of weight loss in cachectic patients, nutritional supplement enriched with EPA resulted in significant weight gain. A randomized controlled study was carried out to investigate the effects of dietary EPA plus vitamin E on the immune systems and survival of well-nourished and of malnourished cancer patients… EPA prolonged the survival of both groups of patients. 

Vitamin C and Doxycycline
Doxycycline is an antibiotic.
This study found that antibiotics, such as Doxycycline, could eradicate Cancer Stem Cells in multiple cancer types. These include: DCIS, breast (ER(+) and ER(-)), ovarian, prostate, lung, and pancreatic carcinomas, as well as melanoma and glioblastoma. The study authors propose the combined use of Doxycycline and Vitamin C as a new strategy for eradicating CSCs.

See Vitamin C therapy page

5. Dietary therapies

Radically change your Diet

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds
Kelly Turner, PhD, a researcher who specializes in integrative oncology, studied one hundred cancer survivors and analysed over one thousand cases of people who experienced a “radical remission” from “incurable” cancer. She found that radically changing their diet was one of 10 factors common among all of them. Other factors were: being physically active, increasing positive emotions…See more at www.RadicalRemission.com

Adopt a plant-based diet
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (an organisation of 30,000 GPs in the US), a plant-based diet is an important way to improve survival in people with cancer.

A plant-based diet consists of exclusively plant foods, including fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes, and avoids meat, dairy, and eggs.

The American Institute for Cancer Research website advises:
Strive for a plant-based diet as much as possible. This will take time as your body heals from treatment. Begin by adding easy-to-digest plant-based foods like oats, barley, bananas, applesauce, pears, peaches, turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and asparagus. Over time, increase your intake of different plant-based foods and test your tolerance.
See Radically Change Your Diet

Ketogenic Diet
According to keto diet proponents, normal cells can burn ketones to stay alive, cancer cells cannot – they use both glucose and glutamine for fuel.

Calorie-restricted / ketogenic diets can transition normal cells to use ketones for fuel while also keeping them hungry for glucose – this will force normal cells to compete with cancer cells for glucose, thus depriving cancer cells of their fuel.
This is based on the understanding that cancer is a Metabolic Disease

This study (including 4 pancreatic patients) says: We performed a case series study of a new ketogenic diet regimen in patients with different types of stage IV cancer. Carbohydrates were restricted to 10 g/day during week one, 20 g/day from week two for three months, and 30 g/day thereafter. A total of 55 patients participated in the study, and data from 37 patients administered the ketogenic diet for three months were analyzed. No severe adverse events associated with the diet were observed. Total ketone bodies increased significantly, and both fasting blood sugar and insulin levels were suppressed significantly for three months after completion of the study. Five patients showed a partial response on Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) at three months. Three and seven patients showed complete and partial responses, respectively at one year. Median survival was 32.2 (maximum: 80.1) months, and the three-year survival rate was 44.5%…Our ketogenic diet regimen is considered to be a promising support therapy for patients with different types of advanced cancer.

Piperlongumine (PPLGM)
Piperlongumine is a natural product constituent of the fruit of the Long pepper (Piper longum), a pepper plant found in southern India and southeast Asia.

Our studies provide a rationale for the development of PPLGM as chemotherapeutic agent against pancreatic cancer in the clinical setting, say the authors of this study.

6. Natural Plants

Cannabis (Cannabinoids)
Cannabis refers to a group of three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis. – National Cancer Institute.

Study (laboratory): Herein, we investigated the in vitro antitumor activity of CBs [cannabinoids] and the potential role of their receptors in human pancreatic cancer cells MIA PaCa‐2.Our results demonstrate that CBs produce a significant cytotoxic [anticancer] effect via a receptor‐independent mechanism. 

Study: In conclusion, results presented here show that cannabinoids exert a remarkable antitumoral effect on pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo due to their ability to selectively induce apoptosis [programmed cell death] of these cells via activation of the p8-ATF-4-TRB3 proapoptotic pathway. 

Study: Endogenous cannabinoids, synthetic or cannabis extracted from plants, can reduce tumor invasion and growth, induce tumor cell death, and inhibit tumor angiogenesis via cannabinoid receptor or receptor-independent pathways. Cannabinoid receptors appear to be highly expressed in pancreatic cancer compared with normal pancreatic tissue. CBD and THC appear to have antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects. CBD in a clinically relevant pancreatic cancer model improved survival outcomes when combined with gemcitabine. 

A study published in The American Journal of Cancer showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumour cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumour cells.

Rick Simpson Cannabis Oil
RSO is a concentrated form of cannabis oil known to have medical benefits, particularly for cancer. RSO differs from a lot of other cannabis oils because it contains higher levels of THC.

Other therapeutic cannabis oils tend to contain a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) and little or no THC. You can find full information about RSO on Rick Simpson’s website.

See Man Treats Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer Using Cannabis Oil

See Cannabinoids page

Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM)
Chinese herbal medicine is part of a larger healing system called Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbs are prescribed to restore energy balance to the opposing forces of energy – Yin and Yang – that run through invisible channels in the body.

This study says: Our study is the first nationwide study investigating the benefits of complementary CHM among patients with pancreatic cancer. This matched-cohort study was based on a database, RCIPD, which enrolled all the pancreatic cancer patients during the years 1997-2010 to compare the differences between 386 CHM users and 386  non-CHM users in Taiwan. We found that patients who used CHM for more than 90 days had lower mortality risk than those in the non-CHM group. Our study is in accordance with a previous study published by Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital, China. In that study, the hazard ratio of mortality risk was 0.419 and the median overall survival was 19 months for patients with TCM treatment versus 8 months for those without TCM treatment.

In summary, adjunctive Chinese herbal medicine may have benefits in reducing mortality rate in pancreatic cancer patients. Bai-hua-she-she-cao and Xiang-sha-liu-jun-zi-tang appeared to be the most commonly used single herb and Chinese herbal formula for the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients.

This study says: We retrospectively studied 107 pancreatic cancer patients between January 2009 and October 2013 in Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital.

We conclude, from this small retrospective study, that TCM [ traditional Chinese medicine] treatment was associated with a survival benefit in patients with pancreatic cancer. In addition, TCM in combination with WM [western medicine] would be a better optimal treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer to improve survival time. More importantly, we provide TCM practitioners with a proposal that heat-clearing, diuresis-promoting and detoxification TCM treatment may improve the efficacy of TCM in patients with pancreatic cancer.

Pages: 1 2

Please share this page to help others