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TGen/Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center publish results of new drug for pancreatic cancer patients
Date:10/4/2011

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Patients at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare were the first in the nation to participate in a clinical trial to determine the safety, tolerability and effectiveness for usage of a new drug combination consisting of a standard drug called gemcitabine and a drug called nab-paclitaxel for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

The results of this study, headed by renowned pancreatic cancer expert Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, were published online Oct. 3, 2011, in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane), an albumin-bound formulation of paclitaxel, is a drug manufactured by Abraxis BioScience a wholly-owned subsidiary of Celgene and is approved for the treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer. The use of this agent in patients with pancreatic cancer is investigational.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials is a partnership between Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to rapidly bring new discoveries in the laboratory to patients.

"This is a great example of rapid bench to bedside development," said Dr. Von Hoff, TGen's Physician-In-Chief and Chief Scientific Officer for the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute.

Scientists at TGen and the International Genomics Consortium, in collaboration with Abraxis scientists, found that in pancreatic cancer an albumin-binding protein called SPARC was present at high levels in cells within the pancreatic tumor microenvironment. It was hypothesized that the albumin formulation of nab-paclitaxel may be taken up by tumor cells with high SPARC expression. Based on these findings, Dr. Von Hoff -- joined by colleagues from Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore; University of Alabama, Birmingham; and South Texas Oncology-Hematology, San Antonio -- conducted a clinical trial in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.


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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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