The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment (it treats your entire body) that typically involves one of two drug combinations given intravenously.
- FOLFIRINOX is the combination of four drugs- Leucovorin Calcium (FOL), Fluorouracil (F), Irinotecan Hydrochloride (IRIN) and Oxaliplatin (OX).
- GEM ABRAXANE is the combination of two drugs- Gemcitabine and Abraxane.
Both of these drug combinations have been shown to prolong life in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.


For patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who cannot have their tumors removed surgically, other treatments include symptom prevention and control. This may involve the use of:
- Surgery to relieve intestinal blockage or to perform nerve blocks for pain;
- Radiation therapy to relieve painful disease sites; or dietary changes to improve eating.


For some patients whose tumors cannot be removed surgically, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are sometimes given together to reduce the size of the tumor. The response of patients to treatment is frequently monitored using CAT scans or blood markers.

Trials are now open at Johns Hopkins. If you would like to learn more about these research studies, please contact Dr. Dan Laheru at:

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
The Bunting-Blaustein Cancer Research Building Room G89
1650 Orleans Street Baltimore, MD. 21231-1000
Phone: 410-955-8974
Fax: 410-955-0125
E-mail: laherda@jhmi.edu