Scottsdale Healthcare, TGen study shows Abraxane/gemcitabine combination
extends survival of pancreatic cancer patients
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jan. 22, 2013
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center data presented at San Francisco ASCO symposium
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --A multi-center
Phase III clinical trial demonstrates that Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) plus
gemcitabine is the first combination of cancer drugs to extend survival of
late-stage pancreatic cancer patients compared to standard treatment.
The MPACT (Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Clinical Trial) study was led
by physicians from Scottsdale Healthcare's Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center
Clinical Trials, a partnership between Scottsdale Healthcare and the
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
Their findings show that Abraxane plus gemcitabine was well tolerated and
resulted in clinically meaningful outcomes compared to gemcitabine alone, the
current standard of care. The study abstract was released today and the data
will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2013
Gastrointestinal Cancers annual meeting in San Francisco on January 25^th.
"We are ecstatic that this clinical trial of Abraxane plus gemcitabine
improves survival for patients with advanced stage IV pancreatic cancer," said
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, international lead investigator for MPACT, chief
scientific officer for Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at
Scottsdale Healthcare, and TGen's Physician-In-Chief. "It once again
demonstrates that laboratory science-based medicine can make a difference for
MPACT is the largest phase III clinical trial completed in advanced pancreatic
cancer with more than 800 patients. Findings from the study showed a 59
percent increase in one-year median survival rates from less than a quarter of
the patients (22 percent) to more than a third (35 percent). The two-year
survival rate for this cancer is negligible, less than 4 percent, but that
more than doubles (9 percent) with the nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine combination.
One of those patients was Lynne Jacoby, 48, of Phoenix, who works as a
director of compliance for a healthcare company. Jacoby was given only weeks
to live when her Stage 4 pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a tumor the size of a golf
ball, was first diagnosed in April 2012 — nine months ago.
"If you had to live your life in a year, and that is all the time you have,
wouldn't you do everything you could to experience this time," said Jacoby,
who for nearly a year before her diagnosis had experienced night sweats,
indigestion, stomach pains, neck and back pain, and an elevated white-blood
She began the treatment of Abraxane plus gemcitabine in May 2012 and continues
on the medications, saying now that she "feels awesome, wonderful." She is
scheduled to remain on the drug combination through May 2013.
"Life is priceless. No amount of money can be placed on life. I know I would
be gone already if it was not for Dr. Von Hoff," said Jacoby, who also refers
to him as "Dr. Von Hope."
The study showed significant improvement among some of the sickest patients
including those with increased metastases. Significantly there was no increase
in life-threatening toxicity. Other drug combinations that have demonstrated
benefit have been limited by increased toxicities.
"This is a major improvement in a cancer with the lowest survival rates among
all cancer types," said Dr. Ramesh Ramanathan, medical director of Virginia G.
Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare and principal
investigator for the clinical trial in the United States. "Advanced pancreatic
cancer is fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States and
throughout the world. It is difficult to diagnose with a majority of the cases
diagnosed at a late stage after the disease has already advanced."
Abraxane wraps traditional chemotherapy, paclitaxel, in near-nano sized shells
of albumin, a protein that the tumor sees as food. The tumor uses various
mechanisms to preferentially attract the albumin, which then acts like a
"Trojan Horse" to release its package of chemotherapy inside the tumor. It is
approved in the U.S. for metastatic breast cancer and non-small cell lung
The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach that secretes enzymes into the
upper part of the small intestine to help digestion. It also produces
hormones, including insulin, which helps regulate the metabolism of sugars.
The incidence of pancreatic cancer is increasing worldwide with an estimated
279,000 cases per year, including nearly 44,000 in the U.S. in 2012, and
resulting in more than 37,000 American deaths last year.
Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical
trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare may
contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at
1-877-273-3713 or via email at email@example.com.
About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale,
Ariz. offers comprehensive cancer treatment and research through clinical
trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration
with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. Scottsdale
Healthcare is the nonprofit parent organization of the Virginia G. Piper
Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research
Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare
Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital. For more
information, visit www.shc.org
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix,
Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking
research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping
patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes.
TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are
able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working
with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it
can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the
translational process. For more information, visit www.tgen.org
SOURCE Scottsdale Healthcare
Contact: Keith Jones, Public Relations Director, Virginia G. Piper Cancer
Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, +1-480-323-1383, firstname.lastname@example.org
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