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Probing new targets for treating the most lethal form of pancreatic cancer

September 09, 2019 / Arlene Weintraub

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common form of pancreatic cancer and also one of the most difficult cancers to treat, because the tumors evolve to evade chemotherapy, and they often spread rapidly throughout the body. Two new studies are reporting progress in the ongoing effort to find new targets for treating PDAC. One seeks to disrupt the metabolism of cancer cells, while the other blocks a key protein that PDAC cells need to grow. Monday, Tyme Technologies presented data from a small phase 2 study of its lead drug candidate, SM-88 (racemetyrosine), which is designed to kill cancer cells by exposing them to oxidative stress. During the study, the investigators tracked an 80% decline in circulating tumor cells and observed a correlation between that decline and overall survival. The median overall survival rate among the 38 patients who were evaluated was six months. The results prompted Tyme to announce that it will launch a pivotal phase 3 trial of SM-88 this qua...