For the first time in history, Spanish doctors have performed surgery on a patient with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Previously considered inoperable, Surgeons at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona were able to operate successfully on a patient with terminal pancreatic cancer.
The surgery involves a pioneering new technique which perforates the tumour allowing the cancerous cells to be burned away.
Inoperable using traditional techniques it is the first time this type of surgery has been carried out successfully in Spain.
Until now patients could only be treated using palliative chemotherapy.
The successful operation was part of a clinical trial called PELICAN being carried out by a team of Dutch experts at 18 hospitals in Europe.
Worldwide Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths and has doctors predicting that it will soon be the second cause of cancer deaths with only one case in five being operable.
The reason pancreatic surgery is so hard is due to tumours being located close to major arteries and veins.
Spain is one of the world leaders when it comes to advanced surgery and ranks 7th in the world for the quality of its healthcare 11 countries ahead of the UK who finished 18th in the World Health Organization (WHO) ranking of the World’s 100 Best Health Systems.