Of all the solid tumors, locally advanced pancreatic cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate, at 4%. Since tumors usually involve vital blood vessels, patients with this disease are seldom candidates for surgery.
Although standard treatment is currently chemotherapy and radiotherapy given concurrently, there have been no significant survival improvements from any treatment. According to a study published in Translational Oncology, researchers are in the process of developing a multistep treatment for locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
First author Richard Tuli, MD, PhD, and researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute created an investigational regimen and are attempting to identify biomarkers for the disease. After a successful study using animal models, the researchers found a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and a drug using a PARP inhibitor that extended survival in mice. After chemotherapy and radiation therapy damage tumor DNA, proteins called PARPs begin repairing the damaged DNA, which causes tumor cells to regrow.
Thus, researchers added a PARP inhibitor to the treatment regimen. In addition, researchers found that patients with BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutations would be most likely to benefit from PARP inhibitors. A clinical trial is currently enrolling eligible patients as the next step to determine whether this regimen is effective in humans.
Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute are developing a novel, multistep investigational treatment for one of the most complex and difficult-to-treat forms of the disease, locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
Locally advanced pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any solid tumor, with a cumulative five-year survival rate of only 4 percent for all stages of disease. Surgery is rarely an option for patients because tumors often involve vital blood vessels. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy given concurrently remain the mainstay treatment, yet to-date, no treatment has had a significant impact on improving outcomes.