Pancreatic Cancer Israel. What’s new on those hot topics? With pancreatic cancer being the fourth leading cause of cancer death, and the 12th most common cancer across the world, it is welcome news that a new drug has gone to phase 3 trial.
Unfortunately, the disease is difficult to diagnose. Due to this, and the aggression of the disease, the first-year survival rate is only 9%. Pancreatic cancer is often found once it has already reached an advanced stage. Over 1,200 people worldwide receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis each day.
That’s why researchers are remaining hopeful about the new drug called CPI-613. The phase 3 style has begun across Israel in 8 different hospitals.
Pancreatic cancer is mostly diagnosed in people aged between 60 and 80. People with diabetes are more at risk, as are people with the BRCA mutations. It is also said that people who smoke or abuse alcohol increase their risk of developing the disease. Having a family member suffer from the disease is not said to increase a relative’s risk.
Often, the disease has no symptoms, or the symptoms are vague. The most common symptoms mild pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. It can be less painful when sitting. Losing weight and loss of appetite are also symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Some of the symptoms are also similar to those experienced with hepatitis B, such as dark urine, yellowing of the skin and itchy skin. Patients may also feel bloated after meals.
For those who receive a diagnosis after the cancer has spread, the five-year survival rate is 3%.
New study offers hope
CPI-613 is a PARP inhibitor. This means that it belongs to a group of drug which inhibits the enzyme. The drug is highly selective on the target level in cancer cells. This ultimately means less toxicity to healthy cells. It also means that it can be used for an extended period of time and in combination with other drugs.
So how will the trial work? 250 people will receive CPI-613 and chemotherapy. Another group of 250 people will just receive the chemotherapy. Israeli researchers are hoping that by late 2020 the results will be enough to allow for FDA approval. Otherwise, they are looking at bringing the drug to the market by late 2021.
Results so far have shown that those who received the drug went 7.4 months before the disease worsened. Whereas those who received the placebo only went 3.8 months. Researchers are hopeful about this data and what it can mean.
In Israel and around the World
Just like all over the world, there has been an increase in the instances of pancreatic cancer in Israel. There were 888 patients diagnosed in 2013. In 2018 it reached 1,024 and it is expected to rise to 1,086 by 2020. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in Israel.
It is of course also a major concern in the US. Scientists estimate that by 2030, pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer death.
Hopefully the results of this trial will show positive results that will help attain the necessary FDA approval. The drug offers hope for patients worldwide. And with continuing cancer research in Israel and around the world, we can remain hopeful that treatments will improve our quality of life.