Timeline of pancreatic cancer
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This is a timeline of pancreatic cancer, describing especially major discoveries and advances in treatment of the disease.
|18th century||First description of pancreatic cancer in western medical literature.|
|19th century||First manifestation of pancreatic cancer as a disease entity. First pancreaticoduodenectomy is attempted.|
|20th century||Pancreaticoduodenectomy improves early in the century and becomes successful. Allen Whipple popularizes pancreaticoduodenectomy in the 1940s. In the 1970s tobacco use is found to cause pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy drugs are released towards the end of the century in the United States.|
|2000s||Researchers begin to use CT scan and endoscopic imaging to screen for pancreatic tumors. The pancreatic cancer genome is mapped.|
|Recent years||Pancreatic cancer remains an invariably deadly disease without any improvements in patient outcome over the last two decades. Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth most common cancer in the world, with 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012.|
|Year/period||Type of event||Event||Location|
|1761||Development||Italian anatomist Giovanni Battista Morgagni is attributed with the first known description of pancreatic cancer in his publication De Sedibus Et Causis Morborum Per Anatomen Indagatis Libri Quinque.|
|1858||Development||American physician Jacob Mendez Da Costa describes the first microscopic diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, manifesting pancreatic cancer as a true disease entity.|
|1898||Development||Italian surgeon Alessandro Codivilla performs the first reported attempt at a pancreaticoduodenectomy for a tumor involving the head of the pancreas (the patient did not survive the postoperative period).|
|1906||Development||Scottish embryologist John Beard proposes that pancreatic proteolytic digestive enzymes represent the body's main defense against cancer, and that enzyme therapy would be useful as a treatment for all types of cancer.|
|1909||Development||German surgeon Walter Kausch first describes the pancreaticoduodenectomy procedure.|
|1914||Achievement||German surgeon Georg Hirschel performs the first successful pancreaticoduodenectomy in one stage.|
|1937||Achievement||American physician Alexander Brunschwig performs the first successful pancreaticoduodenectomy in two stages for pancreatic cancer.|
|1940||Development||American surgeon Allen Whipple performs a successful one-stage pancreaticoduodenectomy, being the first to popularize the procedure (today also called Whipple procedure). His major surgical operation involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, the duodenum, the proximal jejunum, gallbladder, and often the distal stomach. This operation is performed to treat cancerous tumours of the head of the pancreas, malignant tumors involving the common bile duct, duodenal papilla or ampulla of Vater, or duodenum near the pancreas, some precancerous lesions, some cases of pancreatitis with or without a definitive cause, and rarely, severe trauma.||United States|
|1942||Achievement||First successful total pancreatectomy is performed at Mayo Clinic, for an insulinoma.||Rochester, Minnesota, US|
|1944||Discovery||First report of tuberculosis mimicking pancreatic cancer.|
|1947||Discovery||First recognition of a causative relationship between the subcutaneous adiponecrosis and pancreatic cancer.|
|1951||Development||First performance of resection and reconstruction of the superior mesenteric vein for pancreatic cancer at University of Minnesota.||Minnesota, US|
|1955||Development||Researchers first describe the clinical features of a gastrinoma (a tumor in the pancreas or duodenum).|
|1958||Development||Researchers first describe the persistent watery diarrhea and hypokalemia associated with a pancreatic islet-cell tumor.|
|1963||Development||The first case of pancreatic cancer with skeletal metastases is described.||Russia|
|1967||Discovery||Study shows that more than half of patients with pancreatic cancer have psychological symptoms occurring as early as 43 months before physical symptoms.|
|1979||Discovery||Researchers discover biomarker CA 19-9 (commonly for diagnosis and management of patients with pancreatic cancer).|
|1981||Treatment||Researchers discover that adding fluorouracil to standard radiation boosts one year survival from 10 percent to 40 percent for patients with locally advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer.|
|1981||Discovery||Study at University of Maryland Medical Center links environmental exposure to pancreatic cancer. Researchers discover that male victims are more often employed in the dry-cleaning business or in occupations involving close exposure to gasoline. They also find that women at risk of PC are more likely to smoke cigarettes, have uterine tumors and have had ovaries removed or have miscarriages.||Baltimore, Maryland, US|
|1985||Treatment||Chemotherapy plus radiation are found to be effective as adjuvant therapy for patients with earlier stage of pancreatic cancer.|
|1992||Development||Endoscopic ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) of a pancreatic mass is first described. Today it is the preferred method to sample pancreatic mass lesions.|
|1993||Development||Researchers show that a vaccine composed of tumor cells irradiated and genetically modified to produce immune system growth factor GM-CSF could induce potent, specific, and long-lasting anti-tumor immunity in mice. This work leads to the therapeutic cancer vaccine GVAX.||United States|
|1994||Discovery||Study finds that longtime cigarette smokers double their risk of pancreatic cancer.||United States|
|1996||Treatment||Gemcitabine is approved for pancreatic cancer that has spread to nearby organs or to distant parts of the body, after clinical trial demonstrates that it modestly extends survival compared to fluorouracil, the previous standard of care.|
|1998||Development||First description of pancreatic stellate cells (star-shaped cells that play an essential role in pancreatic fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer).|
|1999||Organization||The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is established as a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer.||Bethpage, New York, US|
|2004||Treatment||The European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC) finds that adjuvant use (after surgery) of fluorouracil more than doubles 5 year survival for patients with early pancreatic cancer.|
|2005||Treatment||United States FDA approves targeted drug erlotinib after trial finds that adding it to standard gemcitabine chemotherapy extends the lives of patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer, compared to gemcitabine alone.||United States|
|2007||Development||First description of pancreatic cancer stem cells. Since then, a number of cancer cells with distinct functional features (including self-renewal and exclusive in vivo tumorigenicity) emerges.|
|2007–2008||Treatment||Two important studies demonstrate that adjuvant (post-surgery) treatment with gemcitabine, further extends survival for patients with early pancreatic cancer.|
|2008||Study||The pancreatic cancer genome is mapped. 63 genetic abnormalities are identified, along 12 key "pathways" that are present in the vast majority of pancreatic tumors.|
|2009||Organization||The Pancreatic Cancer Action is established as a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.||Hampshire UK|
|2010||Treatment||Major trial shows that initial treatment with FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy extends survival by nearly five months in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, compared with standard gemcitabine treatment.|
|2013||Treatment||Study shows that combination of two chemotherapy drugs protein-bound paclitaxel and gemcitabine is more effective than standard single drug therapy for people with metastatic pancreatic cancer.|
|2014||United States FDA designates GVAX given with another immunotherapy, CRS-207, as a “Breakthrough Therapy” for pancreatic cancer.||United States|
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