August 3, 2018 • 2 Min

Targeting Tumor Proteins Specific to Pancreatic Cancer Cells

looking down on top of culture test tubes with red tops, against a light blue background

Hey Paul; Flickr

Can a technique that shows promising results in targeting tumor proteins in other cancers be applied to pancreatic cancer?

Researchers are testing a new experimental therapy consisting of doses of specialized immune system cells that are engineered in the lab. This therapy, which is being tested in other cancers, is now in a trial to see if this treatment is safe and effective for pancreatic cancer.

What Are Tumor-Associated Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes?

Tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) are proteins that occur specifically in tumor cells. Tumor-associated antigen (TAA)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes are immune cells that have been engineered to target TAAs. Therapies that target TAAs may cause fewer system-wide side effects than conventional chemotherapy, because they specifically target tumor cells, unlike most chemotherapies, which can affect all cells.

More Details about this Trial

This trial is for patients whose pancreatic cancer has not responded to treatment or has returned after treatment; patients who have not had treatment, because they are not eligible or by choice; and patients who are planning to have tumor removal surgery after treatment. Participants who are currently receiving standard chemotherapies will continue with those treatments during the trial.

The TAA-specific cytotoxic T cells must be grown in the lab. This requires all trial participants to give blood so the researchers can extract the patient’s own T cells. These cells will then be engineered to recognize a specific set of TAAs. It may take one to two months before the cells are ready to be administered back to the patient. All participants will receive six doses of the cells, at monthly intervals. After the treatment has ended participants will be followed by regular scans and blood work. As part of the blood work the researchers will conduct extra tests to look at how long the TAA-specific cytotoxic T cells remain in the system, and to check the immune system response to the cancer.

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 is no longer recruiting patients, although it remains active.

What new treatments and clinical trials are available to me?

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