Dr. Talia Golan, oncologist, specialist in gastrointestinal malignancies, and head of the Sheba Medical Center Pancreatic Cancer Center in the Ramat Gan neighborhood of Tel Hashomer, Israel has partnered with the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Merck to design groundbreaking new tablets that inhibit enzyme production that slows a specific type of pancreatic cancer, the Times of Israel reported. The drug is known as Lynparza, or in its generic form, olaprib.
“In the history of oncology, there have been only two or three studies that have shown some benefits for pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Raanan Berger, Head of Oncology at the Sheba Medical Center per the Jersalem Post. “This is a very rare breakthrough.”
Pancreatic cancer is deemed to be the 12th most prevalent cancer diagnosed worldwide, affecting just under half a million new patients in 2018 alone, the Jerusalem Post continued. This type of cancer is the 4th leading cause of death among cancer patients, and less than three percent of patients with stage IV pancreatic cancer (stage IV implies metastatis) survive.
“Of the 3,315 patients who underwent screening, 154 underwent randomization and were assigned to a trial intervention (92 to receive olaparib and 62 to receive placebo),” Dr. Golan reported according to Israel21c. “The median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the olaparib group than in the placebo group (7.4 months vs. 3.8 months).”
“The POLO trial, using the medicine Lynparza, offers potential hope for those who suffer from metastatic pancreatic cancer and have a BRCA mutation,” Dr. Golan continued.
Written by Erin Parfet