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Gemcitabine Abraxane

gemcitabine abraxane

Abraxane (NAB-Paclitaxel) + Gemcitabine

Abraxane is a modified version of an old chemotherapy drug called paclitaxel (Taxol). Paclitaxel was originally isolated from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree. It works by disrupting the "cytoskeleton" of dividing cells, a molecular scaffold that plays an important role in cell division. The remarkable success of paclitaxel in treating ovarian and breast cancers led to the devastation of the Pacific Yew population in the 1980's and 90's, until new means of synthesizing the drug were developed. Two drawbacks of paclitaxel.

it's toxicity, and the fact that it is poorly solubility in water. Some of the toxicity are related to its function- cancer cells are not the only rapidly dividing cells in a person's body. The cells of the skin, hair, intestines, and immune system all divide very rapidly, and paclitaxle can kill these cells in addition to cancer cells. Moreover, in order to administer paclitaxel to patients, it is necessary to dissolve the compound in a substance called Cremophor EL, which itself is somewhat toxic. Together, the combination can make patients feel pretty sick.

Adjusted Regimen of Abraxane and Gemzar Less Toxic in Pancreatic Cancer

Changing the administration schedule for Gemzar (gemcitabine) plus Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) from weekly to every other week significantly reduced side effects without impacting efficacy as a frontline treatment for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to a retrospective study presented at the 2015 GI Cancers Symposium. The less-intense treatment schedule demonstrated a median overall survival (OS) of 11.1 months and a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 4.8 months. Moreover, the change in dosing reduced patient medical costs by $5,500 per month.

Several Cancer Therapies gemcitabine abraxane

The Food and Drug Administration’s calendar for making decisions on new cancer drugs and indications is taking shape for 2015, and the clock is ticking on at least 13 applications for novel agents and new therapeutic settings for existing drugs. Although more than 750 oncology medicines and vaccines are in development according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, only a fraction of those drugs will make it to the FDA for a final ruling in any particular year.

Side Effects and Effectiveness

I have been following this treatment protocol for almost a year. A chest and abdominal CT scan is done every few weeks to see if the lesions on my liver are changing. Both treatment arms cause short-term side effects. With arm 1, I get notable fatigue on first treatment day, which I suspect is due to the lorazepam and prochlorperazine. Overall I am generally tired by the end of each day. With arm 2, I get some heartburn and constipation that last a week. However, I am able to work four days a week throughout all my treatments.

I have had minimal long-term side effects, the most significant being mild peripheral neuropathy in my feet. Prior to my diagnosis I worked out five days a week. That’s out now but I still exercise three to four times a week.

Positive results of a pivotal pancreatic cancer treatment clinical trial

Celgene Corporation (Celgene) conducted a phase III clinical trial with the intent to show that the combination of its chemotherapy drug, ABRAXANE®, with gemcitabine would improve overall survival in patients with untreated, metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma when compared with gemcitabine alone. Use of gemcitabine alone has been the standard of care for pancreatic cancer.

Modified Nab-Paclitaxel/Gemcitabine in Pancreatic Cancer: Efficacious, Less Toxic, Less Costly

A less intensive regimen of nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus gemcitabine appears to be as efficacious as the standard regimen in first-line treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer, but less toxic and far less expensive, according to a study that earned a Merit Award at the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.1 The modified regimen, adopted by oncologists at The Ohio State University, Columbus, combines gemcitabine at 1,000 mg/m2 and nab-paclitaxel at 125 mg/m2 every 2 weeks.

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