Two studies have been published on April 1, 2013 about the efficacy of the combination drug regimen of nab-Paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus gemcitabine. These follow closely the earlier results of the international study of 861 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who appeared to have gained survival advantage as presented by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and colleagues at the ASCO GI symposium in San Francisco on January 24-26, 2013 (reported here on the Pancreatica blog on November 30, 2012 – see archives).
The first of these new studies was a phase 2 clinical trial of 19 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology by Lima and colleagues from the University of Miami and Johns Hopkins (Singapore International Medical Center) which showed that this combination was tolerated well, and that it appeared to have clinical activity.
The second study in Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacy by Xu and colleagues which looked at the effect of the Abraxane and gemcitabine combination in Chinese patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Again, these researchers found significant results as far as activity against pancreatic cancer tumors; and with a generally tolerable side-effect profile.
The results of these studies are beginning to offer encouragement.
Dale O’Brien, MD