Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USC/Norris oncologists test new front-line therapy for pancreatic cancer

14.01.2005


USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center oncologists are testing the effectiveness of a new drug against pancreatic cancer that targets the cancer from two directions.



In their National Cancer Institute-sponsored phase II clinical trial, researchers are evaluating how well BAY 43-9006 works alone and paired with gemcitabine, today’s standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, is principal investigator on the trial, which ultimately aims to add much-needed options to medicine’s sparse arsenal against pancreatic cancer. Cancer of the pancreas causes about 27,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. "Pancreatic cancer is a major health problem, because we do not yet have highly effective ways to deal with it," says Lenz, director of the gastrointestinal oncology program at USC/Norris. "The cancer is difficult to diagnose early, when it is most treatable, and can be aggressive. Because of the lack of effective systemic therapies, only 1 percent to 4 percent of patients will be alive five years after diagnosis."

But Lenz hopes that targeted medications such as BAY43-9006 will become part of first-line treatment and help patients respond better to chemotherapies.


In this study, researchers will recruit 90 patients with metastatic pancreatic carcinoma. Half of the patients will take a BAY 43-9006 pill twice daily for four weeks, while the other half will both take the pills and receive weekly infusions of gemcitabine for three weeks at a time. Oncologists will evaluate how well tumors respond to the drugs, as well as monitor for side effects. Patients whose cancers progress when taking the new drug alone will be switched to the gemcitabine group.

Unlike traditional chemotherapies, which kill fast-growing cells (even some non-cancerous ones), targeted drugs such as BAY 43-9006 focus exclusively on a few targets specific to cancer cells. In this case, the compound aims to work in two ways: by directly inhibiting critical growth pathways of the cancer cells (even potentially killing the cells), while also attacking the blood vessels needed to nourish the tumor, Lenz says.

BAY 43-9006’s first strategy is to disrupt cell signaling in what scientists call the Ras gene pathway. The Ras oncogene drives cell division and is critical to many cancers’ development; moreover, mutations in the Ras gene occur in 90 percent of pancreatic cancers. By throwing a roadblock in the Ras signaling pathway, BAY 43-9006 attempts to keep cancer cells from proliferating. "This compound also has anti-angiogenic activity," says Lenz. Angiogenesis is a process by which growing tumors recruit new blood vessels to keep them nourished. BAY 43-9006 is thought to inhibit angiogenesis by interfering with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors on blood vessel cells, as well as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors, which are found on special cells that provide the external structure for blood vessels.

Encouraging results have already been reported from a phase II trial of the compound in renal cell carcinoma, or kidney cancer, and a phase I/II trial for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

Sarah Huoh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu
http://www.onyx-pharm.com/products/bay_43_9006.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>