Major pancreatic cancer breakthrough

Clinical trial results show pancreatic cancer patients nearly twice as likely to survive with new treatment.

Queen's/CCTG researcher Jim Biagi discusses study results with clinical trial participant Kathleen Kennedy.
Queen's/CCTG researcher Jim Biagi discusses study results with clinical trial participant Kathleen Kennedy.

The pancreatic tumor is regularly exceptionally aggressive, with just around eight percent individuals surviving beyond five years after treatment, even after surgery and the standard chemotherapy treatment. The distressing part of pancreatic cancer is that only a small proportion of patients are candidates for surgery and, even if surgery is successful, most will die of recurrent disease.

A new study by the Queen’s University suggests that increased survival rates for pancreatic cancer patients who received a four-drug chemotherapy combination known as mFOLFIRINOX after surgery. This is life-changing for these patients and should impact how we treat pancreatic cancer around the world.

Scientists involved 493 patients with pancreatic cancer for the surgery. On average, patients who received mFOLFIRINOX lived almost 20 months longer and were cancer-free nine months longer than those who received the standard treatment.

The outcomes recommend the new treatment regimen ought to wind up standard practice around the world. There are additionally some subsequent stages to investigate, incorporating trying different things with the planning of chemotherapy.

Kathleen Kennedy, a Kingston-area resident said, “A few months after my cancer diagnosis, I had surgery and then elected to try this experimental treatment. I knew that there could be risks, but I also knew that it would be helpful – if not immediately to me, then for other pancreatic cancer patients in the future. Now, three disease-free years later, I feel so blessed that this treatment has afforded me more time with my husband, children, and grandchildren.”

Judy Bray, Vice-President of Research at the Canadian Cancer Society said, “Since 1980, more than 80,000 people have received excellent care at over 800 hospitals and cancer centers across the country in clinical trials that we funded. We’re obviously thrilled when discoveries from these trials improve survival and change the way cancer is treated worldwide. We are committed to helping Canadians through the entire cancer journey by investing in research on prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and the quality of life of those affected by cancer.”

The study’s co-lead is Thierry Conroy, medical oncologist and director of the Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine in Nancy – one of the UNICANCER hospital network’s comprehensive cancer centers in France. Funding for the trial was provided by the Institut National du Cancer in France, the French national Ligue against cancer, cycling charity group 7 Days in May and the Canadian Cancer Society.

The PA.6 results were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

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