Speed Reads

the fight against cancer

New pancreatic cancer drug regimen shows 'impressive' results in clinical trial

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, funded by Napster founder and billionaire Sean Parker, on Sunday presented the results of clinical trials testing a new treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer. The results, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in Atlanta, Georgia, came just a year and a half after the first patient was enrolled in the trial — "moving fast" by pharmaceutical standards, said Ramy Ibrahim, the Parker Institute's chief medical officer.

The findings show partial tumor shrinkage in metastatic pancreatic cancer patients who'd had no cancer treatment before the multi-drug regimen the trial was testing, Stat News reported Monday. Pancreatic cancer is the third deadliest type of cancer, which makes these early findings "impressive," said the investigator in charge of the trial, Robert Vonderheide.

In addition to the standard drugs typically prescribed for pancreatic cancer, patients were given a third drug, an "experimental antibody" called APX005M. And half of the patients in the trial were also given a fourth drug: Optivo, typically prescribed for lung cancer patients. Patients who received all four drugs had the best results, with 54 percent of them seeing tumor shrinkage that lasted up to 10 months or more.

With the Phase 1 trial complete, this new regimen will undergo further testing from the Parker Institute before it can move ahead to potentially become a viable treatment for pancreatic cancer patients. Read more about the trial results at Stat News.