Scientists are testing whether an immunotherapy drug being tested against other diseases can be an effective treatment for the wasting syndrome that often affects patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Immunotherapy to Combat Cancer Cachexia
Xilonix (bermekimab) is a human monoclonal antibody that has been tested in clinical trials for colorectal cancer and atopic dermatitis. During these trials the drug has been found to cause patients to gain weight.
Cachexia, also known as wasting, is a syndrome that encompasses involuntary weight loss, appetite loss, muscle atrophy, and fatigue. It occurs in patients with advanced stages of many different diseases, including cancer and is associated with a poor prognosis. Cancer cachexia can be very hard to reverse because it is a complex metabolic syndrome— just eating more food does not prevent patients from losing weight.
Participating in This Trial
All participants will receive Xilonix along with standard treatment of fluorouracil, irinotecan, and leucovorin. Researchers are looking for the safety of the combination. They are additionally looking at the drug’s effectiveness to restore body weight and improve quality of life. Participants will be asked to provide blood, tissue, and fecal specimens so researchers can search for biomarkers related to cachexia.
We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website ClinicalTrials.gov provides more details about this trial as well as many others. You can visit the EmergingMed Trial Finder for a listing of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.