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Cancer drug extends survival by nearly two months

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 23 January 2013

As we reported in November 2012, in a Phase III study, Celgene's ABRAXANE® (NAB-PACLITAXEL), currently approved for breast and lung cancer, was found to improve overall survival for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Further details of the study have been released and we now know patients who received Abraxane in combination with the chemotherapy agent gemcitabine had a median overall survival of 8.5 months, compared with 6.7 months for patients who received standard therapy of gemcitabine alone. 

Abraxane plus gemcitabine demonstrated a 59% increase in one-year survival - 35% vs 22% - and doubled the rate of survival at two years from the start of treatment, with 9% still alive compared with 4% for gemcitabine alone.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, comments: "New treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer that can extend life are urgently needed. Therefore, it is an important step forward that Celgene's study has shown an increase in overall survival. We hope this treatment will now be further investigated for use in pancreatic cancer and be made available in the UK as soon as possible."

Further details of the study results will be highlighted at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium on Friday 25th January.

Source: Celgene press release