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Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > PEGPH20 in addition to Nab-paclitaxel and Gemcitabine for Metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

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PEGPH20 in addition to Nab-paclitaxel and Gemcitabine for Metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma


Cancer and Palliative Care

June 2018

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a common type of cancer in the pancreas. The cause of pancreatic cancer is not known, but factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, poor diet and lack of exercise can increase the risk of developing the condition. In the early stages, pancreatic cancer does not usually cause any symptoms, and when symptoms do appear they are vague, including pain in the stomach area or back, jaundice and weight loss, making diagnosis difficult. Many people do not know they have pancreatic cancer until the disease is advanced, and three quarters of people die within a year of diagnosis. Treatment of pancreatic cancer with chemotherapy drugs such as nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine is often difficult due to accumulation of hyaluronic acid in the cancer cells.
PEGPH20 is being developed to be added to nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine for the treatment of hyaluronan-high stage 4 previously untreated pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. PEGPH20 breaks down the hyaluronic acid, allowing the cancer-killing drugs to be more effective. Some clinical studies have shown that adding PEGPH20 to nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine increased overall survival of patients. If PEGPH20 is licensed, it could be used together with existing treatments as a first line treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer.

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