Updated results from an ongoing clinical study of pamrevlumab (FG-3019) in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were presented during the ASCO 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco and appear to suggest pamrevulmab may improve outcomes compared to chemotherapy alone.
About Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma and Connective Tissue Growth Factor
Pancreatic cancer, is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2016, there were approximately 53,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer projected in the United States alone. Pancreatic cancer is aggressive and typically not diagnosed until it is often incurable. Most patients are diagnosed after the age of 45, and overall five-year survival is about 7%, due to many factors, including advanced stage at diagnosis and limited response to currently available therapies. Pancreatic cancers often exhibit extensive connective tissue stroma and elevated levels of Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF). Cancer-stroma interactions affect cancer growth, angiogenesis, resistance to therapy and metastatic spread of tumor cells. CTGF is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer and facilitates progression and metastasis
Pamrevlumab (FG-3019) is a fully human monoclonal therapeutic antibody that inhibits connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a common factor in chronic fibrotic and proliferative disorders characterized by persistent and excessive scarring that can lead to organ dysfunction and failure. In pancreatic cancer CTGF is associated with cancer and growth of abnormal stromal cells and tumor cells. Pre clinical studies indicate that treatment with pamrevlumab in combination with chemotherapy may enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and improve survival.
In this comparative clinical trial, pamrevlumab in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel chemotherapy was compared to chemotherapy alone for the treatment of patients with locally advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma who were considered inoperable. Patients were treated with six cycles of chemotherapy with or without pamrevlumab. The study has enrolled 33 patients to date, and is targeted to enroll up to 42.
Overall 7 of the 12 patients assigned to treatment with pamrevlumab became eligible to undergo surgical resection compared to only 1 of 11 treated with chemotherapy alone. The doctors reported that differences in overall survival between patients treated with and without pamrevlumab look encouraging and suggest that pamrevlumab has the potential to provide meaningful benefit for pancreatic cancer patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic disease.
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