May 4, 2018 • 2 Min

Testing Immunotherapy for Safety Before and After Pancreatic Cancer Removal

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Alan Bloom; Flickr

Is a new immunotherapy drug safe to use before and after surgery to remove pancreatic cancer? Does the new drug help prevent the spread of the cancer?

Researchers are looking at the monoclonal antibody RO7009789 to see whether it is safe for pancreatic cancer patients and if it lessens the chance of pancreatic cancer spreading after surgical removal of the tumor. The drug is being tested alone and in combination with standard treatment.

A New Immunotherapy Drug

RO7009789 is a monoclonal antibody specifically designed to target a particular protein. This drug binds to the protein CD40, found in a variety of immune cells and some cancer cells, activating the immune system and enhancing the immune response against cancer cells.

The combination of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel is a standard treatment for pancreatic cancer. 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.

How this Trial Works

To qualify for this trial a person must be newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and the tumor must be surgically removable. Participants will be enrolled in one of two groups. One group receives only the experimental drug before the surgery, while the other group receives both the experimental drug plus the gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel combination before the surgery. After surgery both groups will receive the experimental drug and the gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel combination.

This is a phase I trial, which looks at the safety of the new drug and whether participants have bad responses. The researchers will also analyze blood and tissue samples to better understand how the immune system responds to the drug.

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.

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