New trial drug fighting pancreatic cancer

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Any cancer diagnosis can be scary. But with the latest medical breakthroughs more patients are becoming survivors. A new clinical trial at Scottsdale Healthcare is looking to help those battling pancreatic cancer.

“It's a very hard to treat disease,” Dr. Jasgit Sachdev said. “So it takes about 37, 000 patients annually.”

While pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat and even diagnose, research in this area is showing promise. Sachdev is with the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center clinical trials.

“There are several drugs that are active for pancreatic cancer,” Sachdev said. “They all work for a limited amount of time and then the cancer cells develop resistance.”

A new drug is being put to the test in a Phase 2 clinical trial at the cancer center. It's called INNO-206. The drug will be giving to patients intravenously once every three weeks.

“The novel thing about this INNO-206 is that it combines doxorubicin with a natural human protein called albumin,” Sachdev said. “Pancreatic cells in particular like to eat albumin, use it as a nutrient for metabolism. So the drug is then able to sneak into the cancer cells."

“So low and behold the active chemotherapy drug is then inside where it needs to be and it works,” Sachdev continued.

The doctor said the trial will not only evaluate how patients' cancer will respond to the drug, but also the kind of side effects they might experience.

“The goal here would be to give patients another option where by their tumor can be slowed further,” Sachdev said. “We can prevent further spread to organs that don't have cancer spread to them so far and prolong survival.”

For more information on the clinical trial and to see if you're a candidate, log onto, email or call480-323-1339