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Pancreatic cancer: therapy target increases survival
USE therapy target in patients with pancreatic cancer that have specific mutations increases the survival compared to chemotherapy alone. In particular, patients may on average live about a year longer. This is what emerges from a study of a group of american researchers published recently in various magazines: Lancet Oncology, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, and EBioMedicine. This is a retrospective analysis - so an observational study - which analyzed the data of the program Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's Know Your Tumour, a registry that includes patients in the u.s. with this type of cancer and allows them to undergo molecular analysis to follow and possibly personalized therapies.
The study The objective of the researchers was to understand if the patients whose tumors showed specific molecular alterations and, for this, they had received a treatment target together with the chemotherapy, showed a median overall survival longer than those who had not received any molecular therapy. The researchers analyzed data of patients aged equal to or greater than 18 years with pancreatic cancer of any stage, enrolled in the program, " Know Your Tumour (KYT), who had performed the molecular tests. From the time of enrollment in the program ranged from one patient to another, the median overall survival was calculated from the first diagnosis of advanced disease (unresectable or metastatic) up to the date of death. Of over 1,850 patients with pancreatic cancer included in the program KYT between 16 June 2014 to 31 march 2019, 58% (of 1,082 patients, of which about mlle showed pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma) carried out a molecular analysis and has received a custom report with the results of the test and any recommendations from the therapeutic. About a quarter - 282 patients showed molecular alterations, on which it was potentially possible to intervene.
The patients live about a year longer, The researchers took into account a cohort of 677 patients who had received at least one line of therapy in advanced stage: the average age at the time of diagnosis was 62 years and about half were men. Among them, 189 showed molecular alterations, on which it was possible to intervene: 24% - and 46 patients had received molecular targeted therapy that is specific to the tumor, while 76% had been subjected to only the standard therapy. Result? Those who had received a therapy target together with other treatments survived for an average of one more year after the diagnosis of advanced disease compared to patients who had received chemotherapy alone (survival of 31 months vs. 18 months). In addition, 46 patients had a longer survival when compared with those that did not show any molecular alteration (31 months vs. 16 months).
the promising Results this Is the first study that shows the benefits of the therapy targets in terms of survival for this group of patients. “Even if only a small number of them received a targeted therapy, the results are promising,” said Michael Pishvaian MD Anderson Cancer Center (University of Texas), one of the authors of the study. “With no other type of treatment, it was observed a survival benefit similar in this subgroup of patients. Our results suggest that following an approach of medicine of precision, in which the patients receive a targeted therapy on the basis of the specific characteristics of their tumor, may have a substantial impact on their survival”.
cancer of The pancreas and the molecular alterations in The survival rates for this cancer are, in fact, low: less than one patient in ten survives five or more years after the diagnosis. In most cases, the tumor develops in the head of the body, with origin in the ducts that carry the enzymes of digestion: hence the name ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, a disease that by 2031 could become the second leading cause of cancer death. Often, the tumor is diagnosed late and there are few treatment options available, but several studies have shown that up to 25% of these tumours contain molecular alterations that could potentially be treated with targeted therapies. In fact, the number of patients presenting with these specific alterations is too low to be able to do a clinical trial but, for lack of other therapeutic options, in some countries, doctors can prescribe therapies that have been approved for other types of tumors, if the tumor of the patient has the same molecular alteration of the tumor to which the drug is approved.

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