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 Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University

nachricht Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
28.03.2017 | Graphene Flagship

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>