In the human body, the pancreas is an organ and gland that produces pancreatic juices (The exocrine function of the pancreas synthesis and secretion of pancreatic juices.) and hormones, including insulin. Insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood. The pancreatic juice is enzymes that help break down carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and acids in the duodenum (First part of the small intestines). Pancreas is approximately six inches long that stretched across between the stomach and spine. The organ lies, partially behind the stomach, attached to the duodenum, the upper portion of the small intestines. The narrow end of the pancreas, called the tail, extends to the left side of the body.
In 2006, 33,730 new cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed and 32,300 people died of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Because of the location of the pancreas, when a cancerous tumor (cells) develops in the organ’s tissue, often not detected early, until the tumor grows large enough and interfere with the function of the nearby stomach, duodenum, liver or gallbladder. Ninety-five percent of pancreatic cancers occur in the ducks that carry pancreatic juices. Cystadenocarcinoma is a rare type of pancreatic cancer, begins in the cells that produce insulin and other hormones. A computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan provides computerized cross sectional views and helps diagnosis for pancreatic cancer. Also a biopsy is often recommended. Symptoms include Jaundice (the skin and whites of the eyes look yellow), mid back pain, nausea, diarrhea, general weakness, light-colored bowel movement, itchy skin, and slow digestion of food. Unfortunately, symptoms may not appear until the disease becomes advance. The pancreas will produce too much insulin or other hormones. Surgical removal is no longer an option, if the condition is diagnosed to late or if the cancer has spread (metastasis). Pancreatic cancer occurs nearly twice as often in men as women, but rarely develops before the age of fifty years old. Contributing to the cause of pancreatic cancer includes cigarette smoking, a high fat, Low – Fiber diet, diet high in foods containing food additives, cancer causing agents, and diabetes. Preventing pancreatic cancer by maintaining a healthy weight by eating nutritional foods, quit smoking, and exercise regularly.
In January 2007, Point Therapeutics Incorporated (Boston, Massachusetts), said its drug talabostat (PT-100), along with the treatment of gemcitabine (Chemotherapy drug that is given as treatment for some types of cancer. Most commonly used to treat cell pancreatic, bladder, lung and breast cancer): Shown promising survival rates in some of the metastasis pancreatic cancer patients, during a phase TWO Trial Study. Dr. George Demetri, a member of Point’s Clinical Advisory Board said: “Point has demonstrated preclinically that talabostat is a potent inhibitor of fibroblast activation protein (FAP), an enzyme that is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer and is believed to promote tumor growth. In addition, preclinical work combing talabostat with gemocitabine has also demonstrated encouraging results.” During the Phase Two Trial, forty-eight percent of the fifty-five patients survived more than six months. Approximately ten percent of the participants demonstrated clinical response to treatment including one complete response and two partial responses. Combining gemocitabine with talabostat resulted in no toxicities, would have prevented the continuation of the study. Final results of Phase Two Clinical Study expected by the middle of 2007. Following this study, Point Therapeutics will have to conduct a successful Phase Three Study before submitting for Food and Drug Administration approval. Phase Three Study will encompass, a longer duration, wider scale, testing both safety and effectiveness. Also, talabostat is being studied in the treatment of lung cancer and brain cancer. Besides blocking the growth of cancer cells, P-100 may increase the growth of new blood cells.
Dr. Yagnesh Ozza, MD, Medical Director at the Center of Comprehensive Cancer Care in Mt. Vernon, Illinois said: “Metastatic pancreatic cancer represents a significant unmet medical need as there are limited treatment options available for patients.”