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Going for gold with a novel interventional radiology treatment for pancreatic cancer
Date:3/16/2010

d the stomach. It produces juices that help break down food and hormones that help control blood sugar levels. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the most common type of pancreatic cancer and carries the worst prognosis of any cancer, even when diagnosed early. This aggressive cancer typically has a six-month survival rate at diagnosis. In 2009, it was estimated that more than 42,000 individuals, typically over the age of 60, were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, making it the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Because it is often found late and it spreads quickly, pancreatic cancer can be hard to treat.

"As current treatments offer minimal benefit, entirely new approaches are needed," said Omary, in explaining the pre-clinical study. A major reason that current pancreatic cancer treatments do not work is that scar tissue develops around the cancer. This scar tissue blocks cancer-killing drugs from entering the tumor in the first place, said Omary. "We used a catheter to deliver cancer-killing nanoparticles directly to the tumor. The catheter is placed into an artery near the groin and navigated through blood vessels to the site of the tumor, all without surgery. Once in the blood vessel that supplies the tumor, the catheter can deliver nanoparticles directly into the tumor. This method may offer a better way to overcome the scar tissue that blocks drugs from attacking the tumor," he added. With this type of catheter delivery, more drug "can go directly where we want it: to the tumor itself," said Omary. "This is not the case with injections through a vein, where the cancer-killing drug may not end up where it needs to be," he explained. The direct catheter injections also have the potential to reduce some of the side effects such as vomiting and hair loss that may be seen with typical chemotherapy. "Researchers have been using the same tool box for a long time without any benefit; it's time for us to apply some high-tech tools to
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@SIRweb.org
703-460-5572
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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