News | Published June 21, 2016

Local physicians help develop national treatment guidelines for pancreatic cancer

Edward Balaban, DO, FASCO, medical director, CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP

Practice guidelines for physicians treating a wide range of diseases have become a frequently used, if not required tool, for every physician in daily medical practice. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently published three clinical practice guidelines for pancreatic cancer in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the sentinel journal for medical oncology and cancer care. With each guideline centering on the treatment of a different phase of pancreatic cancer, the practice guideline entitled, “Locally Advanced, Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline,” focuses on the common circumstance of pancreatic cancer that is not treatable with surgery.

This guideline was chaired by Edward P. Balaban, DO, FASCO, medical director, CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP, a partnership of Mount Nittany Health and Penn State Cancer Institute, and Nelson Yee, MD, PhD, Penn State Cancer Institute. Drs. Balaban and Yee are also faculty members at Penn State College of Medicine. Together with an expert panel of internationally recognized physicians, they summarize and recommend treatment approaches to an otherwise difficult patient situation. Excited to play a key role in the guideline development, Dr. Balaban explains that this specific guideline presents all of the recognized and accepted treatment scenarios in a rapidly changing field based on the available medical evidence and clinical studies, and is predicted that this will be a commonly-referenced treatment guideline in medical oncology treatment decisions. "Physician treatment guidelines have become a cornerstone in the practice of medicine,” said Dr. Balaban, adding, “Nowhere are they more important than in the constantly changing and challenging field of cancer therapy."

As new information becomes available, the panel will update the recommendations, aligning with ASCO’s mission to conquer cancer through research, education, and the promotion of the highest quality patient care. To read more about this guideline, visit asco.org/guidelines/LAPC.

CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP, a partnership of Mount Nittany Health and Penn State Cancer Institute, provides state-of-the-art, personalized care for outpatient hematology, medical oncology and infusion services. Patients benefit from the combined resources and expertise of Mount Nittany Health, the community's trusted healthcare provider, and Penn State Health, the region's academic health center. The CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP was founded in 2013 and is housed in the state-of-the-art Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Visit cancercarepartnership.org to learn more.