Enhancing an Immunogenic Response in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

July 2nd, 2014 @   -  No Comments
Managing patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is challenging. This type of malignancy invades early in its course and metastasizes rapidly.  It is important that patients who are resectable, benefit from a surgical course of treatment in a multidisciplinary manner.
A recent (conducted between 2008-2012) clinical trial conducted be Lei Zheng, MD, PhD, assistant professor of oncology and surgery at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center compares patients that were given GVAX alone, GVAX plus a single IV dose of cyclophosphamide at 200 mg/m2, or GVAX in addition to oral doses of cyclophosphamide given once a day on alternate weeks.  The study found that those patients who received a combination of a vaccine in combination with low dose chemotherapy before surgery had in increase in immunogenic proteins within their tumors.
Typical surgical protocol involves resection followed by chemotherapy.  However this newly released clinical trial shows that priming the patients with combination therapy of a vaccine and low dose chemotherapy before surgery stimulates the tumor to develop immunogenic structures which makes the tumor responsive to immunotherapy.  Ultimately this offers long term remission for some patients.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has few treatment options besides surgical resection and generally is not responsive to immunotherapy.  Having said this, combination therapy before surgical intervention might be a way to retard this malignancy.

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