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Slowing the Spread of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Slowing the Spread of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
Sriram Subramaniam, NCI
Is a drug approved for lung disease safe and effective for pancreatic cancer that has spread to other organs?

Researchers are testing nintedanib, a drug used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and some types of non-small cell lung cancer, in combination with standard treatment of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Inhibiting Tumor Growth

Nintedanib is a kinase inhibitor, a type of drug that blocks some of the proteins needed for cancer cells to multiply. Earlier laboratory studies suggest that this drug interferes with the formation of blood vessels within tumors by cutting off their blood supply.

The standard treatment combination of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel works as follows. Gemcitabine is converted into two metabolites that cause cell death. One reduces the number of proteins available to make DNA; the other shortens the DNA strands. Nab-paclitaxel inhibits cell division and promotes cell death.

In this Trial

To qualify for this clinical trial patients must have metastatic pancreatic cancer. All participants will receive the treatment being studied. Participants will first receive the nintedanib alone for two weeks, followed by nintedanib plus gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel for as much as eight cycles. Researchers are looking for a safe dose of the combination and, using advanced imaging, to see whether the treatment is effective in slowing the growth and spread of the cancer.

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 list of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.


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