Abraxane Improves Survival Among Pancreatic Cancer PatientsMain Category: Pancreatic Cancer
Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology | Clinical Trials / Drug Trials
Article Date: 24 Jan 2013
Celegene Corp's drug Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) was found to be effective at improving overall survival among pancreatic cancer patients when combined with chemotherapy, according to results from the drug's phase III clinical trial.
Even though Pancreatic cancer is a relatively uncommon form of cancer - making up only 2.1% cancer cases - it is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths killing around 38,000 people in the U.S. every year. It is one of the most difficult forms of cancer to treat, especially as it is usually detected at very late stages.
Treatment is currently quite limited in extending the survival of patients with the cancer. However, recent drug trials have been showing promise, another study indicated that a drug called metformin is able to eliminate cancer stem cells and could work effectively along with chemotherapy. Although pancreatic cancer is relatively uncommon and accounts for only 2.1% of all newly diagnosed cancers, it is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States.
The MPACT (Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Clinical Trial) study involved 861 participants and was set up to evaluate the effectiveness of treating pancreatic patients with Abraxane and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone.
Impressive trial resultsResults from the study revealed that 35% people on the combination of Abraxane and chemotherapy were alive at the end of the first year compared to only 22% who just underwent chemotherapy. This translates into a 59% increase in one-year survival as well as double the rate of survival in two years for the patients on Abraxane verus those who only received the chemotherapy. Those were solely on chemotherapy survived for only 6.7 months compared to a median of 8.5 months among those who also took Abraxane.
The Executive Vice President, Global Head Hematology & Oncology Clinical Research, Celgene Corporation, Jean-Pierre Bizzari M.D., said:
"We are excited by the results of the Abraxane MPACT study and the potential this treatment combination may bring to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. As the largest phase III real-world clinical trial in advanced pancreatic cancer, the clinically meaningful findings seen across key study endpoints and patient subgroups are a reflection of our ongoing commitment to develop innovative new therapies in critical areas of need."
Abraxane is human protein, albumin-bound version of paclitaxel. It was first approved in the U.S. in 2005 for the treatment of breast cancer. In 2012 it was approved for first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer among patients who could not receive radiation therapy or curative therapy. The drug is now undergoing trials to see whether it is a viable form of treatment for cancers of the bladder, ovaries, as well as metastatic melanoma.
Abraxane made sales of close to $386 million in 2011 for it's use as breast cancer treatment. It is expected to generate close to $2.1 billion as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. Abraxis BioScience was the original company to develop the drug, they were bought out by Celegene in 2010 for $2.9 billion. Celegene can expect to see good sales of the drug, although it might see strong competition from the drug Folfirinox which was found to similarly improve survival among pancreatic cancer patients.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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