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March 16, 2012
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal and the most aggressive types of cancer, and it is estimated that every year about 8,000 people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with this terrible disease. The survival rate of pancreatic cancer sufferers remains incredibly low, making this type of cancer the fifth cause of death in modern UK. That is why today’s scientists are working very hard on looking for effective, safe and promising treatments for pancreatic cancer. One of those was recently reported by the Cancer Research UK experts in Cambridge as a new potentially effective tool to combat the disease.
The proposed idea is using the chemotherapy agent gemcitabine, which is a quite commonly offered pancreatic cancer treatment option, in conjunction with a new agent MRK003 or MK-0752, an experimental drug. A series of preliminary practical experiments on lab mice have demonstrated that by using a combination of mentioned substances allows setting off a sequence of chemical processes which bring to destroying cancer cells, this way reducing tumors. Further trials were recently launched in the Cancer Research UK-based laboratories in Cambridge, involving about 60 volunteers with advanced stages of pancreatic cancer.
A 41-year-old patient, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2011, reported that he had completed the six cycles of the innovative treatment involving the combination of gemcitabine and MK-0752. The tests and scans that followed the therapy have shown that the tumors in this patient had reduced and the proposed approach could be effective. This way, Cambridge scientists are hopeful that a new promising treatment for pancreatic cancer could be on the way and give a chance for survival to thousands of people suffering from this terrible disease, both in the UK and around the globe.
Professor Duncan Jodrell, one of the leaders of the study and an expert at at the University of Cambridge underlines the importance of the findings of his fellow scientists by the following comments: “We’re delighted that the results of this important research are now being evaluated in a clinical trial, to test whether this might be a new treatment approach for patients with pancreatic cancer, although it will be some time before we’re able to say how successful this will be in patients.” More information about the trials and about this new approach to pancreatic cancer treatment can be found in the website of Cancer Research UK.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.