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Unique study focuses on combined treatment approach for locally advanced pancreatic cancer
Date:7/22/2014

LOS ANGELES (July 21, 2014) Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute are developing a novel, multistep investigational treatment for one of the most complex and difficult-to-treat forms of the disease, locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Locally advanced pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any solid tumor, with a cumulative five-year survival rate of only 4 percent for all stages of disease. Surgery is rarely an option for patients because tumors often involve vital blood vessels. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy given concurrently remain the mainstay treatment, yet to-date, no treatment has had a significant impact on improving outcomes.

"To move the needle forward toward prolonged survival and better treatment outcomes, our research team created a combined investigational regimen for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer," said Richard Tuli, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist in the Department of Radiation Oncology and a member of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. "Coupled with this research treatment, we are also looking to identify patient biomarkers, or molecular signatures, that may provide clues to how, and why, some patients respond better than others."

Tuli was the first author of a pre-clinical study recently published in the journal Translational Oncology. Using animal models, the study evaluated a novel treatment for pancreatic cancer that combines radiation, chemotherapy and treatment with a specific drug that can inhibit the repair of cancer cells damaged by chemotherapy and radiation. Successful research findings led to a clinical trial now enrolling eligible patients.

Many standard cancer treatments for pancreatic cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, kill tumors by damaging their DNA. When such DNA damage occurs, proteins known as PARPs move to the site of damage and begin to mend these broken strands of DNA
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Contact: Cara Martinez
cara.martinez@cshs.org
310-423-7798
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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