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Steve Jobs' Death Highlights Critical Need for New Therapies for Pancreatic Cancer
Date:10/10/2011

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) joins in grieving the untimely death of Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs from pancreatic cancer. Jobs' death comes on the heels of other high profile deaths from the disease - those of Nobel Laureate Ralph Steinman last week, and actor Patrick Swayze two years ago.

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These deaths bring to light a disease with an extremely poor prognosis for which there are limited therapies. The five-year relative survival rate for this patient population is less than five percent.

But better news may come in the form of therapies originally approved to treat patients with blood cancers. Roughly 50 percent of the cancer drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the past decade were first approved to treat patients with a form of blood cancer. Many of these drugs are now commonly used to help additional patients and some are showing promise against certain solid tumors, including pancreatic cancer.

LLS helped advance Revlimid®, a drug that can enhance anti-cancer immune responses and block cancer-feeding blood supplies. It is FDA-approved for patients diagnosed with myeloma or myelodysplastic syndromes.  Based on exciting laboratory results, Revlimid is now being tested with a standard chemotherapy in clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients.

Likewise, LLS funded research advanced Zolinza®, a first-in-class enzyme-targeting drug that can kill cancer cells by reprogramming critical gene activities. Zolinza is FDA-approved to treat certain lymphoma patients, and being tested in clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients.

"The passing of the visionary Steve Jobs was a truly sad occasion and his death has brought attention to a deadly cancer for which there are very limited opt
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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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