New pancreatic cancer drug being trialled

21 February 2012

A new treatment for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer could be in the pipeline, following a breakthrough by British scientists.

Researchers in Cambridge claim to have come up with a new weapon to combat the effects of the deadly disease, which affects around 8,000 people in the UK on an annual basis.

By mixing the chemotherapy agent gemcitabine with an experimental drug called MRK003, the scientists were able to trigger a chain of events which resulted in cancer cells being killed in mice.

Following these initial findings, the Cancer Research UK-funded trials will now be applied to human patients, including father-of-two Richard Griffiths, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2011.

Commenting on the tests so far, Mr Griffiths said: "After six cycles of treatment, a scan showed the tumours had reduced and so I have continued with the treatment. The trial gives you hope - I really feel I can do this with the science behind me."

According to research carried out by Pancreatic Cancer Action recently, 22 people die each day in the UK due to the severe disease.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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