Ductal pancreatic carcinoma is expected to become one of the most common malignant diseases worldwide in the coming decades. However, the prognosis of the disease remains very poor and has improved only slightly over the last decade. The 5-year survival rate of all patients with ductal adenocarcinoma has been increased to approximately 10 percent. The reasons for the very poor prognosis are the advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis with metastases already present in many cases, the anatomical location of the pancreas and the tumor biology. Therapeutically, chemotherapy remains the basis of systemic therapy. Intensive combinations with FOLFIRINOX (oxaliplatin, irinotecan, leucovorin/5-FU) and nanoparticel albumin bound (nab)paclitaxel/gemcitabine lead to an improvement in overall survival in the palliative situation; used preoperatively, they can increase the rate of secondary resections. Targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors could not be established. In patients with a proven germline mutation in the BRCA gene, a therapy with the PARP inhibitor olaparib is in the approval process.This article provides an overview of differential diagnoses, meaningful diagnostics, therapeutic concepts to improve surgical treatment, possibilities of palliative chemotherapy and targeted therapy in the presence of a BRCA mutation.
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