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Pancreatic cancer drug MRK003 shows promise in early trials

Published on 20/02/2012

Early trial results for new drug MRK003 show huge promise for treating pancreatic cancer.

After recent news that eating processed meat increases your risk of pancreatic cancer, a new trial is testing the effects of a new drug on the deadly disease.

Around 7,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, and it tends to affect people between the ages of 50 and 80.

Cancer of the pancreas is both difficult to detect and treat, and it has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers, with only 3 per cent of patients living beyond five years.

But a new drug called MRK003, in combination with chemotherapy agent gemcitabine, has been proven to set off a chain of events that kills the cancer cells in mice.

Now, about 60 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer are being recruited for the first Phase I/11 clinical trial of the drug to see if it works in humans.

Cancer Research UK is funding the trials, after prioritising research into the often incurable disease.

Professor Duncan Jodrell, who is leading the trials at the University of Cambridge, said: "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."

If access to revolutionary cancer drugs and treatment is important to you, compare health insurance quotes online now to get covered on your private medical insurance.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Medical
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