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Anonymous donor funds almost € 400.000 for pancreatic cancer trial

BRUSSELS - An anonymous donor funds almost € 400.000 for a pancreatic cancer trial. “We were very happy to receive the amount because it is 90% of the complete external budget that was needed to be able to start”, explains Lydie Meheus, CEO of the Anticancer Fund. The private fund that supports cancer research matches the remaining 10% with other received donations.

Fighting cancer with existing drugs

The clinical trial, called PROSPER (Pancreatic Resection with perioperative Off-label Study of Propranolol and Etodolac), is designed to fight pancreatic cancer with the re-use of existing drugs. It recently got the green light to test a beta-blocker (propranolol) and an anti-inflammatory drug (etodolac) in the period around surgery among pancreatic cancer patients. Eighty patients with pancreatic cancer that are eligible for surgery will soon be recruited for the phase II trial.

Low survival chances

Pancreatic cancers have a very poor prognosis and rising incidence. Only 15 to 20 percent of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (the most common form of pancreatic cancer) can be operated. Almost half of the patients relapse within the first year after surgery and only 1 out of 5 is still alive after 5 years. Clearly, there is a need to reduce the number of relapses which will improve the overall survival of these patients.

New method with PROSPER

“We discovered scientific publications with promising preclinical laboratory work”, explains the Anticancer Fund’s Clinical Research Director Gauthier Bouche. “Encouraging results with mice and breast cancer patients were reported and we wanted to continue exploring that hypothesis, this time in pancreatic cancer patients. Luckily, our donor made sure we were able to get the trial started soon.”

Results by 2021

The Anticancer Fund knows who their donors are, but it respects their wish to stay anonymous. “We keep our donors up to date on the progress of the trial”, explains Meheus, “and we hope to have the first results already by the end of 2021.” The Fund is pleased to collaborate with a major expert group in Heidelberg (Germany) who are performing by far most pancreas cancer surgeries in Europe.

Fast results, fast solutions

When early study results of the existing drugs show effectiveness, we are convinced that further development of such a treatment is a cheap and quick way to get a new cure to patients in need.”, elaborates Meheus. “We want to focus on treatment options that can increase survival and quality of life fast. This donation shows that with sufficient budget we can act fast and we can bring a cure to the patient faster.”

More info about PROSPER here.

Interested in donating? Discover the details here.