June 14, 2019 • 2 Min

Testing a New Drug to Attack Pancreatic Tumor Blood Vessels

microscope image of the structure of blood vessel endothelium with the proteins that hold the shapes in red

Zeiss Microscopy; Flickr

Will a new form of a known cancer drug make an established pancreatic cancer treatment more effective against advanced disease?

Researchers are comparing the standard-of-care drug gemcitabine plus a new form of paclitaxel with gemcitabine alone, to see if the combination works better on pancreatic cancer that has spread beyond the pancreas.

A New Form of an Older Drug

Endothelial cells are cells that line blood vessels and lymphatic ducts. Tumors depend on these cells, which are negatively charged, to develop blood vessels that feed cancer cells. EndoTAG-1 is an investigational drug made from the combination of paclitaxel and positively-charged lipids. EndoTAG-1 interacts with the negatively charged endothelial cells of newly formed blood vessels through the lipid coating and then releases paclitaxel, which kills endothelial cells and ultimately starves the tumor by destroying its blood vessels

Gemcitabine is converted into two metabolites that cause cell death. One reduces the number of building blocks necessary to make DNA; the other shortens the DNA strands. It is used to treat pancreatic cancer at all stages of the disease.

Trying the New Drug Combination

To participate, patients must have locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer that cannot be surgically removed. They must also have had treatment with FOLFIRINOX, which has stopped working.

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine alone or the EndoTAG-1/gemcitabine combination, and will receive treatment until their disease advances.

This trial is being conducted around the world, with participating centers in the United States, France, Hungary, Israel, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, and Taiwan.

We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website 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.

This trial has been completed.

I have just been diagnosed.

What should I do?

Learn more