New Pancreatic Cancer Drug Trials

Image representing Infinity Pharmaceuticals as...

Image via CrunchBase

Along with a resurgence in interest from the research and drug discovery communities in pancreatic cancer, there’s been a concomitant increase in the number of drug trials over the past couple of years.

Last year, Concordia Pharmaceuticals released the results of it’s latest Phase II trial for Salirasib (a K-ras inhibitor).  Since 90% of pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients have a mutation in the K-ras gene, it is hoped that inhibiting the gene would have some clinical benefit.  The studies showed a near doubling of life-span of pancreatic cancer patients. Another Phase II multicenter trial is in the works.

In March, Pfizer announced that in a trial of their investigational new drug  they were able to stimulate macrophage activity to shrink pancreatic cancer tumors.  Followed by an announcement in May that Sutent had been approved for use in treating pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Earlier this year Infinity Pharmaceuticals began recruiting patients for a new drug trial for their inhibitor of the “Smoothened” gene which plays a key role in the Hedgehog signalling pathway.

In related news, last September, CBS News featured a piece on the Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team.  The team started an $18M cocktail trial.  The ingredients in the cocktail included a hedgehog inhibitor to cut the fuel supply to the tumor, and nab-paclitaxel.

And Stand Up To Cancer recently featured a progress update video. The team included Dr Craig Thompson of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Daniel Von Hoff of TGen.  The team recently published the results of the trial.

And in vaccine-related news, Aduro Biotech announced it’s first patient was being treated with a combination of it’s GVax vaccine and CRS-207 based on Aduro’s platform of attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) strains.  This vaccine gained recent attention after the Nobelist Ralph Steinman used it to prolong his own life.

If you’d like to learn more about pancreatic cancer drug trials, follow this link.

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About aspenbio

I write software for scientists. I'm interested in Java/Groovy/Grails, the Semantic Web and Cancer Biology.
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