Small Bowel Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2023

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done to learn more about small bowel cancer and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about small bowel cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

Because small bowel cancer is uncommon, clinical trials studying only small bowel cancer may be hard to find. Some clinical trials on the diagnosis, treatment, and causes of colorectal cancer may be open to people with small bowel adenocarcinoma.

Areas of current research include:

  • Radiosensitizers. Researchers are investigating the use of radiosensitizers in the treatment of small bowel cancer. Radiosensitizers are drugs that make tumor cells more susceptible to radiation therapy, which makes radiation therapy more effective.

  • Immunotherapy. As explained in Types of Treatment, immunotherapy is being actively studied in small bowel cancer. This includes novel medications, vaccines, and cell-based therapies.

  • Targeted therapy. Targeted therapies treat a specific genetic change in your tumor if it is there. These may be more effective and have fewer side effects compared to systemic treatments without a target, such as chemotherapy.

  • Palliative and supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current small bowel cancer treatments to improve comfort and quality of life for patients.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like more information about the latest areas of research in small bowel cancer, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance on how to cope with the physical, emotional, social, and financial changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.