Pancreatic cancer accounts for 5% of cancer deaths in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality. According to the SEER Cancer Statistics Review, it is estimated that in 2009 there will have been over 42,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer and over 35,000 deaths. Current treatment options are of limited benefit with a 5-year survival rate following diagnosis of less than 5%. The current standard-of-care therapy, gemcitabine, only improves survival by a few weeks. It is clear that more effective therapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is needed. Ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery is an active and promising area of research. Ultrasound has been demonstrated to enhance vascular permeability and drug penetration into tissue, primarily due to mechanisms related to cavitation. Ongoing research efforts (including preliminary data from our lab presented in this proposal) have identified ultrasound mechanism and parameters that are likely to be effective in vivo. Several in vivo studies have been performed in various xenograft and syngenic autograft animal models that have demonstrated that ultrasound enhanced drug delivery is effective in decreasing tumor size and increasing survival duration;however, these tumor models, especially for pancreatic cancer, have been criticized for being unrealistic and not representative of the true in vivo environment seen in the human disease. In this proposal, we believe that we have developed a study that includes rigorous fundamental science, but also is rapidly translatable. The attractiveness of the strategy in this proposal is that it utilizes a chemotherapeutic agent that is the current standard of care (gemcitabine) along with focused ultrasound technology that is currently available and readily implementable to rapidly translate these results into human clinical trials. In addition, it brings for the first time to the study of ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery a unique and realistic animal model (KPC mice), which will provide much more realistic data to evaluate the potential for clinical translation. The overall aim of this proposal is to investigate whether ultrasound can enhance targeted drug penetration into an in vivo pancreatic tumor and improve survival duration. We believe that the successful accomplishment of the specific aims of this proposal will be a major step toward applying this promising approach to human patients who are suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer accounts for 5% of cancer deaths in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality and current treatments are essentially ineffective. The overall aim of this proposal is to investigate whether ultrasound can enhance targeted drug penetration into an in vivo pancreatic tumor and improve survival duration. We believe that the successful accomplishment of the specific aims of this proposal will be a major step toward applying this promising approach to human patients who are suffering from pancreatic cancer.
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