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Published on 18 September 2008

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Pancreatic cancer drug breakthrough


A breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (NET), a rare and difficult-to-treat form of cancer, has been presented at the 33rd European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

The results, from the RADIANT-1 (RAD001 In Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumours) study, show that combination treatment with RAD001 (everolimus) and Sandostatin LAR (octreotide IM) as well as RAD001 given alone control tumour growth.

Patients with pancreatic NET who became resistant to chemotherapy were given either daily RAD001 combined with monthly Sandostatin LAR or daily RAD001 alone.

The results showed that 82% of patients receiving combination therapy and 77% receiving monotherapy had tumours that either decreased in size or remained stable.

RAD001 is a once-daily oral therapy that continuously inhibits the mTOR protein – a central regulator of cell division and tumour blood vessel growth.

Two phase III trials investigating the use of RAD001 and Sandostatin LAR are under way in patients with pancreatic NET and carcinoid tumours. The endpoints will be progression-free survival and overall survival.

Dr Peter Harper, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, commented: “These data showing the potential of RAD001 to provide tumour shrinkage or stability and to extend time without disease progression are very encouraging.”

Copyright PA Business 2008

European Society for Medical Oncology

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