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Can our immune system fight against pancreatic cancer?

(TeleManagement) A group of researchers led by the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Pittsburgh and University of Washington, published results of a clinical trial in which the standard chemotherapy drug for this disease, gemcitabine, was paired with an agonist CD40 antibody, resulting in substantial tumor regressions among some patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The work is published in Clinical Cancer Research.

“We’re now using imaging to understand the treatment heterogeneity that one can see in immunotherapy – not all tumors within a patient’s body react the same way, even in the face of powerful treatments, and now we have a way to follow these unique treatment responses in patients in real-time”, said lead author Gregory Beatty, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the division of Hematology/Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center.

“We incorporated imaging as early as two weeks after the first dose of treatment, and we’re able to see changes and responses in terms of glucose metabolism even at this early time point in treatment, which predicted how well patients would respond two months later”, Beatty says.