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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > Trends in pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the United States
Published in the Medical Research Archives
Nov 2021 Issue

Trends in pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the United States

Published on Nov 29, 2021




Trends in clinical trials for pancreatic cancer between 2011-2020 were tracked in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network database originally designed to assist in identifying open trials for eligible patients.  More than 125 trials specific for pancreatic cancer or including no more than one additional cancer type have been open each year, the majority for patients with a diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC).  The trends indicate an active and progressive pancreatic cancer research community and include an increasing number of trials for previously treated patients, the emergence of trials for post-adjuvant or maintenance therapy, an increasing number of research-intensive phase 0 trials, increasing seamless phase I/II and II/III trials to improve efficiency, and an increasing number of phase III trials despite historical failures.  Trials were analyzed by treatment type and included trials to optimize standard chemotherapy or radiation therapy, trials targeting tumor pathways, the stroma, or the immune system, biomarker-specified trials, and a miscellaneous category of trials testing tumor metabolism, complementary medicine approaches, or alternate energy sources.  There was a dramatic increase in immunotherapy trials over this time.  Several biomarker-specified trials were initiated, and FDA approval was obtained for biomarker-specified targeted agents, many in a tissue-agnostic setting, indicating an increase in a precision medicine approach to pancreatic cancer treatment.   An increasing number of trials tested non-standard approaches, many which progressed to phase III.  The trends suggest an encouraging trajectory of pancreatic cancer clinical research.

Author info

Lynn Matrisian, Maren Martinez, Allison Rosenzweig, Cassadie Moravek, Anne-marie Duliege

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