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AACR: Combo Treatment Beneficial in Pancreatic Cancer

Investigational drugs also show promise for follicular lymphoma and recurrent glioblastoma

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Promising new clinical approaches are in the pipeline for treating pancreatic, ovarian and other cancers, according to a press briefing presented April 15 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego.

Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz., and colleagues studied the effects of combining paclitaxel and gemcitabine in treating advanced pancreatic cancer. The researchers found that the combination treatment was associated with significant reductions in CA 19-9, the most clinically useful serologic marker for pancreatic cancer. In their phase I trial, 82 percent of patients achieved at least a 20 percent reduction in CA 19-9, which was associated with improved survival, and 59 percent of patients achieved at least a 70 percent reduction.

Carlos M. Telleria, Ph.D., of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and colleagues studied the effects of using the early-pregnancy termination drug mifepristone in between courses of cisplatin for ovarian cancer. Their findings showed that mifepristone may help prevent ovarian cancer cells from repopulating and also mitigate the toxicity of cisplatin treatment.

Other studies discussed at the press briefing showed that AME-133v, an Fc-engineered humanized monoclonal antibody, resulted in a complete or partial response in four of 16 low-affinity FcyRIIIa patients with previously treated follicular lymphoma; AZD2171 (cediranib), an oral pan-VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was associated with a partial response in 56 percent of patients with recurrent glioblastoma; and neoadjuvant bevacizumab with chemoradiation therapy was associated with a four-year disease-free survival rate of 88 percent in patients with rectal cancer.

"We had shown in previous mouse studies that normalizing blood vessels would decrease tumor activity, but the question with mouse studies is whether it will work in humans," said Rakesh Janin, Ph.D. "This is the first study to confirm the idea of the effect of normalization in patients."

Abstract - Von Hoff
Abstract - Telleria
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Physician's Briefing