Researchers have established a breakthrough therapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is considered one of the world’s deadliest cancers.
The breakthrough therapy is a combination of CRS-207 and GVAX Pancreas drugs. It is on the fast track to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
Being on the fast track to U.S. FDA approval means that instead of going through the standard approval process, which takes years, it could only be a matter of months before approval. The breakthrough status of the immune system-boosting treatment is what allows it to be on the fast track to FDA approval.
The design of this new therapy was based on data from an ongoing phase 2 trial of 93 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. The patients participating in the trial did not respond to other treatments.
The patients who received the combination of GVAX Pancreas and CRS-207 cancer vaccines had better outcomes then those who received GVAX Pancreas vaccine alone, according to the results of the study.
Experts are hopeful that combination immunotherapy could help extend the lives of those with metastatic cancer.
The pancreas, a digestive organ, is located behind the stomach and bounded by the liver, small intestine, and spleen. It secretes enzymes to break down different molecules in the food digested and aids in digestion.
According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 45,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer were reported in the U.S. last year alone. Almost 40,000 patients lost their battle against the disease.
Pancreatic cancer accounts for less than 3% of new cancer diagnoses each year. However, it is the 4th most frequent cause of cancer death for most men and women. The survival rate of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is very low with a 5 year survival rate of about 5%.
Unlike prostate or breast cancer, there is no annual test of biomarkers that can be measured in order to ensure early diagnosis of the disease.