Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to treat. But researchers have determined that adding the experimental drug known as PEGPH20 to a standard chemotherapy regimen pay provide metastatic pancreatic cancer patients a long period before their cancer progresses.
These findings come as a result of a randomised, controlled clinical trial led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center faculty member, Sunil Hingorani, who is slated to present the findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. Keep reading for the full scoop...
Clinical trial reveals that PEGPH20 drug slows down pancreatic cancer progression
To arrive at this conclusion, Hingorani looked at metastatic pancreatic patients. He divided them into two groups: One group received experimental therapy, while the other received standard chemotherapy.
Hingorani revealed that when he gave experimental therapy to patients whose tumours had a lot of the PEGPH20 drug’s target molecule, they had four months more of progression-free survival compared with patients in the control group.
Hingorani said these findings reassure him that it was the right move to advance PEGPH20 into the worldwide Phase 3 trial, which opened last year.
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“We still haven’t fully proven anything yet, strictly speaking, but I think [this strategy] is very rational,” Hingorani reported. “Let me put it this way: I think it would be irresponsible not to finish the global Phase 3 trial as the most rigorous test of this hypothesis. I think we’re obligated now to answer the question.”
Study author has always had faith in PEGPH20 for pancreatic cancer
Hingorani said previous studies led him to PEGPH20 because he believed the drug could address a major challenge posed by many pancreatic cancers: The tumours have extremely high internal pressures that prevent cancer-killing drugs from getting in and collapse local blood vessels.
He added that PEGPH20 is commonly used to reduce those pressures so chemotherapies circulating in the blood can penetrate tumours. Hingorani’s findings are some of the first to identify the benefits of PEGPH20 for pancreatic cancer patients.
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