New experimental drug identified for pancreatic cancer treatment

pharmafile | November 11, 2021 | News story | Business Services  

Professor Shudong Wang, Head of Drug Discovery and Development at the University of South Australia, is hoping to utilise the experimental drug Auceliciclib for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Auceliciclib has already demonstrated significant potential in clinical trials to treat glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. Both of these cancers share a reputation for being two of the hardest to treat, with low survival rates and late diagnosis.

Professor Wang is hoping to recruit pancreatic cancer patients for a clinical trial of the drug. Auceliciclib has been designed to specifically target CDK4/6 enzymes, which have impaired function in pancreatic cancer, making it more effective and with fewer side effects compared to current standard therapy.

“Pancreatic cancer is extremely difficult to diagnose at an early stage because there are very few symptoms,” Wang shared. “If it is caught early, the malignant tumor can be surgically removed, but once it spreads into other organs it is lethal, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy only buy patients a little extra time.”

Currently, the National Cancer Institute estimates that 60,430 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in 2021, projected to cause over 48,000 deaths. Only 10% of pancreatic cancer patients live five years or more after receiving their diagnosis.

Symptoms include digestive problems, nausea and vomiting, pain in the upper abdomen, sudden weight loss, and jaundice. Pancreatic cancer is the  tenth most common cancer, with 10,449 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK in 2018. It is the  fifth biggest cancer killer in the UK, causing 9,000 deaths every year.

Professor Wang is also working on a novel biomarker for pancreatic cancer, hoping to undertake genetic profiling of patients with pancreatic cancer to see if they share any common characteristics.

Ana Ovey

Related Content

No items found

Latest content