The drug agent gemcitabine has been the mainstay of the medical treatment of pancreatic cancer. 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.
Dale O’Brien, MD San Jose distance calculator .