Pancreatic cancer has long been known as one of the most deadly forms of this disease. With a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent, most patients diagnosed with this disease find their outlook grim. Researchers at Ulster University believe they have developed a treatment that may one day offer more hope for pancreatic cancer patients.
The treatment in question involves the injection of oxygen-filled microbubbles with an in-active drug directly into the pancreatic cancer tumor. Once the injection is in place, doctors use ultrasound to activate the cancer-killing drug. The treatment also benefits from the delivering of oxygen right to the site. While still in the development stage, this treatment is minimally invasive and has shown, so far, to produce a five-fold reduction in tumor size. The studies related to this option have centered on the most common type of pancreatic tumor.
“While more study must be done to determine the benefits of this development, it’s showing a lot of promise so far,” says Dr. Gregory Echt, one of the physicians behind the Sandler-Kenner Foundation and the founder and lead surgeon at Choice Cancer Care. “Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this treatment is its ability to deliver oxygen right to the tumor. The lack of oxygen limits the ability of other cancer-fighting treatments to work. This could give an overall treatment plan a much-needed boost, potentially improving the outcome for pancreatic cancer patients.”
A time table for this treatment’s potential delivery for wide scale use is not yet known. In the meantime, people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are urged to discuss all potential treatment options with their healthcare providers.
“Researchers are working hard to find better ways to treat and detect pancreatic cancer,” says Dr. Echt. “The hope is to one day soon transform the survival numbers and give patients a real chance for life after this disease.”
About The Sandler-Kenner Foundation
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation, established in 2007 as the Las Colinas Cancer Center Foundation, was renamed in early 2011 in the memory of Michael Sandler and Peter Kenner, both of whom passed away from pancreatic cancer, a lethal disease that is difficult to diagnose until it has reached an advanced stage.