Over 50,000 people a year die of pancreatic cancer each year. Only about 10% of the people who are diagnosed with cancer live more than five years. But, the recently released research findings from Boston Children’s Hospital led by researcher Marsha Moses, PhD, definitely indicates there may be light now at the end of the tunnel. Quoting from the article: “It [the treatment process] killed the tumor cells [pancreatic].”
The research was conducted on mice. What is significant with the research was that the process uses nano-technology in conjunction with a proven cancer fighting drug. “… a highly selective, potent, engineered antibody-drug combination, they produced marked and lasting tumor regression in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.”
Marsha Moses said “Pancreatic cancer has proven very difficult to treat with drugs. The tumors have a limited blood supply, making delivery of drugs a challenge. Moreover, a dense connective tissue called stroma surrounds and protects them.
“It can be difficult to get drugs into these tumors,” says Moses, who directs Boston Children’s Vascular Biology Program. “We developed a novel chemo-immunotherapy agent that selectively recognizes and penetrates pancreatic tumors better than other therapeutics.”
Because of using the nano approach Jing Huang, PhD, said “… it can penetrate the stroma and reach pancreatic tumor cells better than other novel treatments such as T-cell immunotherapy or nanomedicines.”
While other treatments have been explored in pancreatic cancer, “… none have proved effective enough in patients, and they have also caused off-target toxicity, says Moses. “The precision of our approach comes from both the specific targeting and the ability to monitor that targeting with MRI,” said Marsha Moses.