Base on a new study, a novel pancreatic cancer treatment using activate of immune system shows a good progress in some patients. This novel approach to treat the pancreatic cancer activates the immune system works in some patients.
Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, an associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, said that the novel treatment works by destroying the ”scaffolding” that surround the cancer cells.
”Instead of binding to pancreatic cancer, this antibody binds to a molecule in the immune system, and that is CD40,” Vonderheide said. He also tells that the immune system next is activated, allowing it to attack the so-called scaffolding around the cancer cells. The scaffolding is destroyed and the tumor falls apart.
Compared to conventional treatments, the new pancreatic cancer treatment extended overall survival by nearly two months. Progression-free survival, the length of time during which the tumor did not grow, was more than three months longer.
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment: Study Details
The scientists studied the new immune therapy for pancreatic cancer treatment in people and in mice. 21 patients with the most common type of pancreatic cancer, ductal adenocarcinoma, were given the combination of gemcitabine with the new antibody treatment, known as CP-870,893.
The antibody infusion, given once a month, was added to the routine gemcitabine treatment. Side effects included chills and fevers and usually went away within 24 hours. The new treatment was found to be well tolerated in this phase 1 trial, Vonderheide says.
“We are reporting that five patients who received the antibody went on to tumor regression that was at least 30% or more,” Vonderheide says. After two cycles, the patients were scanned to evaluate the tumors. That 30% is considered the cutoff for an acceptable response, he says.
The median overall survival time was 7.4 months. The median time for progression-free survival was 5.6 months. In comparison, gemcitabine alone produces a median overall survival time of 5.7 months and a median progression-free survival of 2.3 months.