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Blood Test Might Help Guide Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
Date:1/22/2013

escape treatments that were initially effective," Meropol said.

The study was funded, in part, by CellPath Therapeutics Inc., the Baltimore-based company that is developing the blood test.

In other news from the same meeting, Japanese researchers found that a new chemo drug may extend the lives of certain patients with pancreatic cancer that can be treated with surgery. Of patients given the drug -- called S-1 -- after surgery, 70 percent were still alive two years later. That compared with 53 percent of patients who were given an older, standard drug called gemcitabine.

Because pancreatic cancer is usually found late, only 20 percent to 30 percent of patients are candidates for surgery. And S-1 appears to work best for Asian patients; earlier studies have found that white patients tend to suffer more severe side effects.

S-1 is currently approved in Japan and several other Asian countries, and in much of Europe. It is not approved in the United States, but is being studied here as a treatment for stomach cancer.

More information

Learn more about pancreatic cancer from the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Kenneth Yu, M.D., assistant professor, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City; Neal Meropol, M.D., chief, hematology and oncology, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland; news release, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Jan. 22, 2013


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