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Targeted agent shows promise in biliary cancer study
Date:4/20/2009

ition to Ohio State, study sites included the University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University and Emory University.

The patients, with an average age of 56 years, had advanced (metastatic) biliary cancer.

By the trial's end, one patient had a complete response to the treatment (the tumor shrank until it was undetectable), two patients had partial tumor shrinkage and 17 patients showed no further growth in tumor size; that is, they had stable disease which often was durable.

A preliminary analysis of the study shows that patients experienced no cancer progression for 5.4 months on average, a time almost double what would typically be expected with therapy in biliary cancer. This is despite the fact that 40 percent of patients had one prior therapy before receiving AZD6244. A more final analysis of the study is underway.

Patients who lacked a target protein called pERK did not seem to respond to the drug, suggesting that the drug may not work if the protein is missing in the cancer cells. "This is an important finding, as it suggests that we may be able to identify patients who may not respond to the drug in the future," he adds.


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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
darrell.ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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