Navigation Links
Progress Made Against Tough-to-Treat Biliary Tract Cancers
Date:4/7/2010

Two-drug approach may extend life for those with tumors in bile duct, gall bladder

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Adding a second chemotherapy drug to the treatment regimen of people with biliary tract cancer improves their survival odds considerably, according to new research.

This type of cancer -- which occurs in the bile duct and gall bladder -- is notoriously difficult to treat and often fatal.

"These are uncommon cancers, and the lack of any definitive data to support a regimen has meant that patients have had rather a raw deal, treated with an assortment of regimens and not given the option of clinical trials, as is the case for other, more common cancers," said Dr. John Bridgewater, senior author of a paper appearing in the April 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The treatment verified in the study is already "what many would consider a standard treatment, and we know from informal communications with many colleagues that many across the world, not just in the U.S. or U.K., are already using this as a standard regimen," added Bridgewater, who is a senior lecturer in medical oncology at the Cancer Institute at the University College London.

Medical professionals have not been sure whether biliary tract cancers responded to chemotherapy at all.

"This establishes that chemotherapy works in this disease and that the combination of two drugs, which are standard, is actually superior to the one drug and, more likely than not, superior to doing nothing," said Dr. Tanios Bekaii-Saab, medical director of the gastrointestinal oncology division at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Although still relatively rare, the incidence of this type of cancer is on the rise, perhaps due to increases in gallstone disease and hepatitis C, the study and an accompanying editorial stated. According to information in the report on the study, about 9,000 new cases of biliary tract cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.

Because it's so rare, Bekaii-Saab said, "there really are not a lot of options." For advanced cancer, it's different chemotherapy drugs and combinations. Early stage cancer can be removed surgically, he said.

The study involved 410 men and women with locally advanced or metastatic biliary tract cancer -- either gallbladder cancer, ampullary cancer (in a part of the intestine into which the pancreatic and bile ducts flow) or cholangiocarcinoma (in the bile ducts).

It took researchers at 37 institutions six years to amass that number of patients, the researchers said.

"Frankly, there's never been a study like this, meaning a phase 3 study of 400-plus patients looked at in a randomized way," Bekaii-Saab said.

Participants were randomized to receive either the chemotherapy agent cisplatin followed by gemcitabine or just gemcitabine. All were treated as outpatients.

Up till now, gemcitabine alone has been the mainstay of treatment, according to the editorial.

People in the combination therapy group lived an average of 11.7 months, compared with 8.1 months for those in the gemcitabine-alone group, a difference of 3.6 months.

Recurrences were delayed in the combination group compared with the single-therapy group, and tumor control was also better.

Side effects were about the same in both groups.

"Although, it may seem modest, 3.6 months is a significant benefit," Bridgewater said. "Many standard regimens have been established with improvements in survival of less than this, and the critical point is that this was achieved without increased toxicity."

Bekaii-Saab added that, without treatment, people with this type cancer face an average survival of three to four months. "This is tripling the chances of patients surviving this cancer in a stage 4 setting," he said. "Your life span goes from an average of a short four months to about a year. Also, when the tumor shrinks, you're feeling better."

Also, he said, about half will survive a year, and 20 percent up to two years.

"Without any treatment, zero percent will ever survive the two years," Bekaii-Saab said. "This is a significant improvement."

More information

The Baylor College of Medicine has more on biliary tract cancer.



SOURCES: John Bridgewater, M.D., Ph.D., senior lecturer, medical oncology, University College London Cancer Institute, London; Tanios Bekaii-Saab, M.D., medical director, division of gastrointestinal oncology, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, Ohio; April 8, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Progress In Access To Safe Drinking-Water; Sanitation Needs Greater Efforts
2. Fifty years of the light fantastic: Laser advances spark scientific progress
3. Congressional Testimony: Progress Made But Much More to Do for Americas Veterans
4. HIV and noncommunicable diseases hinder the progress of poor countries Millennium Development Goals
5. Delcath Systems to Conduct Conference Call to Update Investors on Recent Progress
6. Study Reports Progress Against Fatal Brain Cancer
7. Herpes Drug Might Also Slow HIV Progression
8. American Red Cross Issues One-Month Progress Report for Haiti Earthquake
9. The Regional Alliance for Economic Development: Progressive Healthcare Helps Tri-Cities, Tennessee
10. Health Reform Tax Changes: Good Progress for Workers; Union to Keep Working for Better Bill
11. Self-seeding of cancer cells may play a critical role in tumor progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2017)... ... May 27, 2017 , ... Most us are familiar with ... new study from the Osteoarthritis Initiative shows that certain people who experience ... this in advance may give doctors the opportunity to treat patients before the problem ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Leading CEOs from ... May 30th and 31st at The Four Seasons Hotel Boston. , The ... life sciences, offering exclusive access to key decision makers who influence deal making ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... Clara, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 ... ... announces the integration of the CareFusion NOX-T3 portable sleep monitor with its Somnoware ... provides a consistent, browser-based interface for diagnostic device operations. With this platform, initializing ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... via ... antimicrobial, mesh back 24/7 task chair specifically designed for clinical areas. Genie Copper ... thrilled to partner with Cupron® to provide customers with a game changing chair ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... focusing on the Peace Agreements being discussed by President Donald Trump and the rest ... to try to speed up peace talks in the continuous battle between Israel and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2017)... 2017  A new tight-tolerance microextrusion medical tubing ... materials, is being launched by Natvar, a Tekni-Plex ... in recent years to service a wide variety ... More expensive materials such as glass and fluoropolymers ... to their ability to consistently hold tolerances. This ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 2017  Kalorama Information notes that transplant diagnostics ... year and this is projected to continue to ... (HSCT) or bone marrow transplants require histocompatibility between ... for this task. This according to a new ... The various PCR-based methodologies, Sanger sequencing and NGS ...
(Date:5/2/2017)... NEW YORK and LONDON ... distributor of market intelligence, MarketResearch.com is pleased to announce ... Consulting AB that allows for the marketing and ... market analyses through the MarketResearch.com website. The ... access to complete product descriptions and tables of contents ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: