Can an implanted device that contains radioactive particles help increase the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer that has spread locally but is not surgically removable?
Researchers are testing the OncoSil radiological device along with standard chemotherapy to see if patients can tolerate targeted radiation given in this manner.
What Is OncoSil?
Most types of radiotherapy involve beams of radiation aimed at a particular part of the body. Brachytherapy is different because the radiation is implanted into the body, inside the tumor.
OncoSil is a brachytherapy device containing radioactive phosphorus-32 (P32) particles that are embedded within inactive silicon particles. The device is implanted in the tumor via endoscopic ultrasound, so that the radiation is released within the tumor, sparing nearby healthy tissue.
The standard chemotherapies in this trial are gemcitabine or gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane). 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. Nab-paclitaxel inhibits cell division and promotes cell death.
All participants will receive the OncoSil device along with either gemcitabine or gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel, depending on the regimen they have been prescribed. This is a pilot study, looking for safety and side effects of the device as reported by the patient during weekly phone calls. Known side effects include pain related to the implantation, abdominal pain and discomfort, lethargy, fever, nausea and vomiting, and abnormal liver function tests. Researchers are also looking at the effectiveness of the treatment, which is tracked through CT scans.
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.