Researchers-identify-drug-therapy-for-pancreatic-cancer. JACKSONVILLE, Fla., A rare form of pancreatic cancer is susceptible to a chemotherapy drug typically used for colorectal cancers, according to new research from the Mayo Clinic.
The drug oxaliplatin stopped the growth of pancreatic cancer in the lab, researchers report in a study published in the Journal of Translation Medicine, suggesting patients with BRCA2 mutation-positive pancreatic cancer may have a treatment option in the pipeline.
Oxaliplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy drug, is used to treat colorectal cancer. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic found its efficacy against pancreatic cancer using a patient biopsy they’d been testing several anti-cancer drugs on.
“This may be a breakthrough for this rare cancer,” Dr. Gerardo Colon-Otero, an oncologist at the Mayo Clinic, said in a press release. “Genomic testing for DNA mutations can now be performed, and, if the results are positive, those patients are candidates for platinum-based drugs, such as oxaliplatin.”
For the study, the scientists used a tumor biopsy from a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer, which had spread to the liver, to develop a tumor xenograft for a mouse model, testing the effects of the cancer drugs 5-FU, irinotecan, oxaliplatin, gemcitabine, bevacizumab, erlotinib, doxorubicin and imatinib.
Of the drugs, just two produced a significant response from tumor cells. Bevacizumab halted growth of tumor cells, but the effect did not last as long as oxaliplatin.
“We showed the tumor growth was inhibited by a number of drugs, but oxaliplatin was the standout drug,” said Dr. John Copland, a cancer biologist at Mayo Clinic. “Our hope is that information gleaned from our study will provide new options for patients diagnosed with this rare form of cancer.”
By Stephen Feller