The Three-Drug Cocktail
In this study, researchers used the standard nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine but added a third drug to the mix called cisplatin where they saw tumors shrink in patients. They reported that 71% of the patients treated saw their tumors shrink considerably. What’s more, 64% of patients were still alive after a year of treatment. After two years – 40% were still alive.
Now, these numbers may not sound impressive, but considering how low the survival rate is, they are actually encouraging. Only about 26% of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer are still alive one year later. Lab tests have shown that the platinum-based cisplatin can inhibit pancreatic cancer cells from repairing DNA, basically causing them to self-destruct. So, this could be a game-changer when it comes to treatment.
Is This Conclusive?
The short answer is, no. The study only included 25 patients, so more research is needed to see if these survivorship percentages hold true. There are also side-effects to consider. This study found side effects to be manageable and tolerable, but, again, more research is needed to document and track side effects.