This medical health video focuses on ways to fight pancreatic cancer.
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Jennifer Matthews: It's another day at the hospital for Barbara Merrick and her husband Ted. Barbara has advanced pancreatic cancer. She found out in December and was not expected to live to see spring. Barbara Merrick: When I was diagnosed, I got real upset and all, but since I've been coming here taking chemo and on the drug, I've been doing real fine. Doctor Emmanuel Zervos says Barbara is like many patients with pancreatic cancer. Surgery was not an option because the cancer had already spread. Dr. Emmanuel Zervos: We are desperate to find some way to improve their quality of life and their survival. Jennifer Matthews: That way could be this drug, Tarceva. Dr. Emmanuel Zervos: It induces cell death, and it prevents cells from dividing and proliferating as a normal cancer cell would. Jennifer Matthews: For the study, patients receive chemotherapy as well as Tarceva or a placebo. Dr. Emmanuel Zervos: To see someone like Barbara and we have a number of patients in the trial that are doing better than average, offers us a lot of encouragement to continue to do these types of trials and have something to offer our patients. Jennifer Matthews: Barbara admits she didn't want treatment at first. Now that it seems to be working, she's glad her family talked her into it. Barbara Merrick: Well, I'm hoping I'll live many more years and it will completely shrink. Jennifer Matthews: For now, she's beating the odds and is thankful she's made it to spring. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.