Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas – a large gland that is a part of the digestive system. Locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) means the cancer has spread into nearby large blood vessels and possibly the lymph nodes. It may have spread into the stomach, bile duct or small bowel, but not to organs further away in the body. More than three quarters of patients with pancreatic cancer have locally advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, and are not candidates for surgical curative intervention. The cause of pancreatic cancer is not fully understood but several risk factors have been identified, one of which is a mutation in KRAS genes.
siG12D‐LODER is a gene therapy currently being developed for the treatment of LAPC. It is a small biodegradable material containing the active component of the drug (siG12D) and is injected directly into the tumour. siG12D‐LODER acts by inhibiting the KRAS genes and therefore reducing tumour growth in the pancreas. If licensed, siG12D‐LODER in addition to standard chemotherapy will offer an additional treatment option for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
Pembrolizumab is a drug administered by intravenous infusion which stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy could provide an additional or alternative treatment option to patients who currently have limited treatment options.