Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

Posts tagged ‘gemcitabine’

nab-Paclitaxel and its potential role in pancreatic cancer

Back in 2009 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Molecular Targets meeting, a researcher (Anirban Maitra) from Boston had a most interesting poster about the use of nanotechnology to deliver nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) to pancreatic adenocarcinomas in a more targeted fashion.  You can read about it in more detail from the meeting coverage at that time.

Essentially, one of the things that stops chemotherapy being more effective in advanced pancreatic cancer is that the stromal layer forms a physical, almost impenetrable layer, that slows drugs from getting through to the tumour.

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Improved survival in a rare cancer with chemotherapy

An interesting article has been published in the latest New England journal describing how the addition of a cisplatin to gemcitabine improved survival by two months in biliary tract cancer.  Currently, there is no standard treatment for this rare disease, so a solid phase III trial (ABC-02) represents an important step forward for treatment.

Biliary tract cancers are tumours that develop in the gallbladder and bile ducts. Those that develop in the bile duct within the liver are known as cholangiocarcinomas.  Approx. 6500 new cases of gallbladder carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the US.  Interestingly, chronic inflammation appears to be a common aetiologic factor in the disease development.  There has been a rise in incidence of the cancer in recent years, which may possibly be attributable to the association between liver disease and increasing hepatitis C virus infections.

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