Positive results of a pivotal pancreatic cancer treatment clinical trial

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Celgene Corporation (Celgene) conducted a phase III clinical trial with the intent to show that the combination of its chemotherapy drug, ABRAXANE®, with gemcitabine would improve overall survival in patients with untreated, metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma when compared with gemcitabine alone. Use of gemcitabine alone has been the standard of care for pancreatic cancer.

In the study, ABRAXANE in combination with gemcitabine demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in overall survival compared to gemcitabine alone. The complete overall survival statistics are not yet available. However, this information suggests that ABRAXANE plus gemcitabine is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with untreated metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Additional information will be posted on our website once Celgene releases the full data in support of this trial.

ABRAXANE was approved for breast cancer in 2005 and last month was approved for a type of lung cancer. It is a form of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel that is modified by the addition of a human protein called albumin.

After the full data is released, Celgene will take this data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval in pancreatic cancer. Until this time, because ABRAXANE is currently approved for the treatment of other cancers, physicians may choose to prescribe it for a pancreatic cancer patient if they feel it is the patient’s best option.

The results of this clinical trial provide a new tier of hope to the pancreatic cancer community. This news illustrates that trials give patients access to state-of-the-art treatment that may be their best option, and they help speed scientific progress toward therapeutic breakthroughs. Clinical trials are the only way to make progress toward better treatments.

If you have any questions about the results of this clinical trial or ABRAXANE, our Patient and Liaison Services (PALS) program can provide you with additional information. Contact one of our trained staff PALS Associates at 877-272-6226, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time or email pals@pancan.org to learn more.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network recommends that all patients to consider clinical trials when exploring treatment options. For more information about ongoing clinical trials or any other questions about pancreatic cancer treatment or diagnosis, please contact a PALS Associate.

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