Researchers claim to have found a new weapon in the fight against pancreatic cancer, as the early trails of an experimental drug combination have shown promising results. Each year about eight thousand people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it is the fifty most frequent cause of cancer death.
The rates of survival in pancreatic cancer are very low in comparison to other cancers and the span of time between diagnosis of the condition and death is typically short, usually less than six months. Researchers from the University of Cambridge gave the chemotherapy agent gemcitabine with an experimental drug known as MRK003 to the mice.
They found that the combination of drug headed out a chain of events which eventually killed the cancer cells in the mice. Researchers are trailing the treatment on the patients to see if the treatment will work for them. The Cancer Research UK has funded the trails and says it is prioritizing research into pancreatic cancer as the survival rate still remains miserably low.
On patient, Richard Griffiths, aged forty-one and father of two kids from Coventry, has been on the trial since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After six cycles of treatment, a scan showed that his tumour has reduced and so he has continued with the treatment.
The latest statistics for England show that about sixteen percent of patients survive the disease beyond twelve months after diagnosis, prompting the need for new treatments. Lead researcher Professor Duncan Jodrell stated, they are delighted that the results of this important research are now being assessed in a clinical trial, to test whether this might be a new treatment approach for patients with pancreatic cancer.
Thought it will be some time before they are able to say how successful this will be in patients, added Prof Jodrell.