A new “game-changing” drug to treat pancreatic cancer could severely reduce the catastrophic amount of deaths that the disease is responsible for.
According to the Daily Mail, researchers have been examining the DNA of pancreatic cancer tumors, and they now believe that they’ve figured out what makes it “tick.” Their findings were published online on February 25 in the journal Oncotarget, via Medical Xpress.
These scientists are confident that they can classify their discovery into four types, and then 15 percent of one of these types will then be helped with a particular drug. This drug has previously assisted and treated sufferers of testicular and ovarian cancer.
In fact, after early tests, scientists have reacted euphorically to the results that they’ve been witnessing, and it’s agreed that they never actually expected to see people respond to trials so positively “in their lifetimes.”
At the moment, doctors and scientists have admitted that some of the treatment they doll out to sufferers is based on guesswork. However, because of this study, they can now prescribe specific drugs to patients based on the DNA of their tumor, and this will go on to save millions of lives.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Andrew Biankin, who co-led the international study and is a Cancer Research UK scientist, admitted that the results of platinum therapy treatment had been truly remarkable.
“While most patients don’t respond to platinum therapy, a few had a dramatic response, which most oncologists would never see in their lifetime.”
Dr. Biankin also explained how the treatment had improved three patients, all of whom had previously been told they only had a few months to live.
“Two patients treated with platinum therapy had their tumours completely disappear and on is still alive four or five years down the line, which is almost unheard of.”
Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest cancer to be diagnosed with. Just 1 percent of people who suffer from the affliction are alive 10 years after they have been diagnosed. In fact, only 3 percent live for just five years, which is way below the 54 percent of all cancer patients.
And despite all of the effort that has been made by researchers and scientists, survival rates for pancreatic cancer sufferers haven’t improved in decades.
Numerous celebrities have perished after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The likes of Steve Jobs, Luciano Pavarotti, Patrick Swayze, Bill Hicks, former Poet Laureate Philip Levine, and Pete Postlethwaite all died due to the disease, while over 40,000 people are estimated to die of it each year.
[Image via BP]