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Overcoming Gemcitabine Resistance – Dasatinib

The drug agent gemcitabine has been the mainstay of the medical treatment of pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas).  This assertion has perhaps been challenged by extensive 5-FU combinations in the past couple of years, but is still mostly held to be true by clinicians.

The wide adoption of the use of gemcitabine since 1997 has also engendered a question, why does it ultimately fail?  The thought is that resistance to gemcitabine occurs – which then allows the tumor to overpower the effects of the drug.

Now comes a Phase I study by Kurzrock and colleagues at MD Anderson Cancer Center / University of Texas (Houston) that pairs (together with gemcitabine) the leukemia drug dasatinib, which has shown in pre-clinical studies to help overcome resistance to gemcitabine.

Two of eight of the patients with pancreatic cancer either showed stable disease for more than six months or showed a partial response during the treatment.

It is an early study, but perhaps a useful approach to begin to discover methods to extend the benefit of one of the key drugs used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

More here


Dale O’Brien, MD .

America’s Finest City Half Marathon & 5K !

America’s Finest City Half Marathon & 5K in San Diego is just a month away!

Who’s participating in this awesome event?

Check it out here or if you can’t be a part of this one, sign up for one of the many others or even to dedicate-a-race!

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HIFU Therapy for Cancer of the Pancreas

Chinese researchers have utilized an innovative modality for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer  (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas): High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (“HIFU”). This mode of therapy involves a manner of directing acoustic energy in a very directed fashion at the tumor itself.  HIFU is considered to be essentially a noninvasive procedure (or at least only minimally invasive).

In the December 2012 issue of the journal Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International, Ye and colleagues have recently reported out a study of twenty-five patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma) that were treated with one or more sessions of HIFU.  They found that increased activity performance levels, and decreased pain levels – in 23 of the patients.  Also, overall CA19-9 marker levels were dramatically improved at one month post-procedure; and in five the CA19-9 levels became essentially undetectable.

Further and importantly, the median survival duration of the patients was ten months, with a rate of survival of 42% at one year (post-diagnosis). These results are somewhat remarkable for advanced pancreatic cancer and suggest the need for further confirmation and evaluation of this interesting technology.


More here


Dale O’Brien, MD



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