FDA approves new therapy for pancreatic cancer patients

International clinical trial led by TGen and HonorHealth showed significant overall survival rates

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (October 26, 2015) - Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer now have access to the new FDA approved drug, Onivyde, that produced significant overall survival rates in an international clinical study conducted in part by researchers at HonorHealth Research Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

"Results from our clinical trial research showed a patient survival rate of nearly two more months without decreasing the quality of life compared to the other treatments tested, " said Gayle Jameson, principal investigator, NAPOLI-1 study and associate investigator, HonorHealth Research Institute. "Invariably pancreatic cancer progresses at some point and we don't have a universal standard of what to do next. In this disease, two months of survival is a game changer for treating advanced pancreatic cancer and gives patients hope."

Each year in the U.S., nearly 49,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and more than 39,000 patients die, making it the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Only about 1 in 4 patients survive more than one year after diagnosis, and less than 10 percent survivor more than five years.

Onivyde will be used as part of a combination regimen with a two-drug chemotherapy. It was approved to treat patients with pancreatic cancer that progressed after treatment with a different chemotherapy.

"As part of the team of medical researchers who studied the effectiveness of MM-398 plus 5-FU and leucovorin drug combination, we are thrilled that the FDA has approved the drug for use in patients throughout the nation," said Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, global principal investigator of the NAPOLI-1 study, Chief Scientific Officer for HonorHealth Research Institute and Physician-In-Chief and Distinguished Professor at TGen.

The large, randomized clinical trial that evaluated the new drug, the NAPOLI-1 (NAnoliPOsomaL Irinotecan), was sponsored by Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. It evaluated patients enrolled at more than 100 sites in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, including patients at HonorHealth Research Institute. The 417 patients in the study all had metastatic pancreatic cancer that was previously and treated with the traditional standard-of-care, gemcitabine-based therapy.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer usually do not appear until the cancer is in its late stages, making it difficult to treat. Once the disease spreads to other parts of the body, most patients are not candidates for surgery and receive chemotherapy as their primary treatment.

Patients seeking information about research studies may contact the HonorHealth Research Institute at 480-323-1339 or toll free at 1-877-273-3713, or email [email protected].

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About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit:www.tgen.org. Follow TGen on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]

About HonorHealth:
HonorHealth is a non-profit health system serving an area of 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. The network encompasses five acute care hospitals, an extensive medical group, outpatient surgery centers, a cancer center, clinical research, medical education, two foundations and community services with approximately 10,500 employees, 3,700 affiliated physicians and 3,100 volunteers. HonorHealth was formed by a merger between Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network. HonorHealth's mission is to improve the health and well-being of those we serve. Learn more at HonorHealth.com.

Media Contacts:
Alice Giedraitis
HonorHealth Media Relations Manager
480-316-4703
[email protected]


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