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3-Drug Combo Improves Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Outcomes

Study finds treatment well-tolerated, kept tumors stable for almost 6 months

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A combination therapy of gemcitabine, capecitabine and bevacizumab improves outcomes in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, according to a multi-center study led by researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

The study of 50 patients found that this combination treatment was well-tolerated by patients, was able to prevent tumors from progressing for almost six months, and improved median survival to 9.8 months.

The study was expected to be presented Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, in Chicago.

Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer -- one of the most deadly types of solid tumors -- have a median survival of six months after diagnosis. About 37,680 people in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008.

While gemcitabine and capecitabine have improved quality of life for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, they haven't led to a significant improvement in survival time, according to background information in the study.

Bevacizumab, which reduces blood supply to tumor, has improved outcomes when added to chemotherapy for patients with colon, lung and breast cancers.

More information

The National Cancer Institute has more about pancreatic cancer.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Roswell Park Cancer Institute, news release, June 2, 2008

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