Could targeting tumor blood vessel function help enhance the delivery of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel?
In pancreatic cancer antitumor T cells must make their way into tumors through blood vessels, bind to the endothelium, pass across the vessel wall, and migrate through cancer-associated fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix before encountering cancer cells. It’s quite a journey, and there are several potential obstacles, such as inadequate blood flow and obstructive fibrous growth. These obstacles can also become impediments to the delivery and distribution of therapeutic drugs.
Researchers are examining whether a drug long used to treat high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs can make chemotherapy more effective for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer that cannot be surgically removed.
Improving Blood Flow for More Effective Chemotherapy
Bosentan is an approved drug used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension—high blood pressure in the lungs. It works by blocking the effectiveness of the hormone endothelin, which constricts blood vessels.
Researchers are testing to see if opening the tumor blood vessels will allow more of the chemotherapy drugs to reach the tumors, and thereby slow cancer growth.
How the Trial Works
This phase I trial studies the side effects and best tolerable dose of bosentan and how well it works when given together with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. All participants will receive the investigational drug along with standard treatment of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel.
In order to be eligible for the trial, patients must not have received prior chemotherapy, unless it was administered as an adjuvant treatment, with recurrence greater than six months from the completion of chemotherapy.
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.