Discovering a More Enduring Drug for Improved Pancreatic Cancer Therapy

In new researchKenneth Olive, PhD, and Jaime Eberle-Singh, PhD, have identified a novel combination therapy that could be much more effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer currently has the lowest overall survival rate across all major cancers. The majority of pancreatic cancer patients overall live 8 to 12 months after diagnosis, and the instances of the disease are on the rise. 

Drs. Olive and Eberle-Singh and their collaborators tested PTC596, an experimental compound, in combination with gemcitabine (a first-line drug for pancreatic cancer) in genetically engineered mice with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer that is generally resistant to chemotherapy. The mice that were treated with the two-drug combination lived three times longer than those treated with only a single standard agent. “This result was exciting because it’s exceedingly rare for any treatment to extend survival in this gold-standard mouse model,” Dr. Olive says. “Based on the drug’s safety profile and our own findings, there’s a good rationale for testing PTC596 in combination with standard therapy in patients with pancreatic cancer." Read the full article at CUIMC Newsroom

Dr. Olive is a pancreatic cancer researcher at the Herbert Irving Comprensive Cancer Center (HICCC) and associate professor of medicine and pathology & cell biology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. This study was led by Dr. Eberle-Singh, while she was a graduate student at Columbia.