NICE has recommended that:
- People with advanced or metastatic (when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body) pancreatic cancer may be treated with gemcitabine as a first line treatment if they have a Karnofsky performance score of 50 or more.
- Karnofsky is a measure given by a health professional to a person's ability to perform certain ordinary tasks: 100 = normal, no complaints, 70 = unable to carry on normal activity, 50 = requires considerable assistance, 40 = disabled, 30 =hospitalisation recommended.
- Gemcitabine should not be used for people with pancreatic cancer who are suitable for surgery that may cure their cancer, or those who have a Karnofsky performance score of less than 50.
- Gemcitabine should not be used as a second line treatment for people with pancreatic cancer, because there is insufficient evidence to support this practice.