Combination Therapy for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
Name of the Trial
Why Is This Trial Important?
In this study, researchers are adding a biological agent called bevacizumab (Avastin) to standard chemotherapy with the drug gemcitabine to see if the combination can help improve the survival of pancreatic cancer patients whose disease has spread to nearby lymph nodes (locally advanced) or to other sites in the body (metastatic). Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the action of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF stimulates the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), which tumors need to survive, and it may also act as a growth factor for pancreatic cancer cells, stimulating them to multiply. Researchers hope they can cause pancreatic tumors to shrink or die by blocking VEGF activity.
"In a phase II study we conducted with this combination, we observed a time to progression and survival that was far better than we expected," said Dr. Kindler. "This randomized trial seeks to confirm our observations, and we hope that the laboratory studies we are also performing will teach us a great deal about the biology of pancreatic cancer."
Who Can Join This Trial?
Where Is This Trial Taking Place?
An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/ft-all-featured-trials.