Going the extra mile for people with pancreatic cancer
BRUSSELS – The Anticancer Fund is partnering with the Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research to support a trial testing a novel strategy in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer. As people with pancreatic cancer are currently lacking treatment options, the Anticancer Fund and the Rising Tide Foundation decided to join forces. The promising trial, called STEREOPAC, is investigating a particular combination of radiation- and chemotherapy, to be applied before surgery.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a very aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. The figures are devastating. Today, surgery is the only treatment offering a chance for cure for patients that have a (potentially) resectable tumour. Despite multiple efforts, only 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer are still alive 5 years after treatment.
As the urge and need for better treatments is high, the Anticancer Fund and the Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research, a Swiss non-profit organisation, are jointly financing a clinical trial designed to increase survival of patients with borderline resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
The trial, called STEREOPAC, is a phase II-study testing a combination of radio- and chemotherapy before surgery, in patients who have not undergone previous treatment for pancreatic cancer.
“STEREOPAC offers an opportunity for treatment implementing knowledge that has been building in the latest years. The Anticancer Fund is proud to support this solid clinical research project that, if positive, will have immediate impact on a group of patients faced with pancreatic cancer”, says Ilse Rooman, Director of the pancreatic cancer programme at the Anticancer Fund (1).
10 Belgian hospitals
The trial will be evaluating the combination of mFOLFIRINOX, a chemotherapy already used to treat pancreatic cancer today, and high-dose SBRD (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy), followed by surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy (if appropriate). 256 patients will be enrolled in at least 10 Belgian hospitals.
The key objectives are to assess if the treatment improves the success rate of the surgical intervention and increases the number of disease-free survival years of patients.
The main investigator of STEREOPAC is Professor Jean-Luc Van Laethem of the Hôpital Erasme (ULB), Department Gastroenterology, Hepatopancreatology and Digestive Oncology, in Brussels (Belgium).
Hôpital Erasme is the sponsor of the trial, funded by the Anticancer Fund and the Rising Tide Foundation. Additional funds are provided by the King Baudouin Foundation and Les Amis de L’Institut Bordet. The estimated total cost of the trial is 950.000 euros.
A strong collaboration
The STEREOPAC-trial is the result of a joint request for application, issued last year by the Anticancer Fund and the Rising Tide Foundation.
“Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research’s mission is to improve quality of life of cancer patients. Strong collaborations with like-minded organisations such as the Anticancer Fund help us achieving our ambitious goal to bring ground-breaking treatments to the bedside of the patients”, says Wendelin Zellmayer, CEO of Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research.
About the Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research
The Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research (RTFCCR) is a charitable, non-profit organisation established in 2010 and located in Schaffhausen Switzerland. RTFCCR’s primary consideration in granting support is given to truly innovative, unique, patient-centered clinical research. The long-term ambition of the foundation is to optimise partnerships and attract the best in Phase I to Phase III clinical trials that aim to bring maximum patient benefit in the shortest time possible. With patients at the core of the mission, the foundation strives to support clinical trials resulting in the creation of less toxic therapeutic approaches, better disease burden management, earlier cancer detection, and innovative prevention strategies that will lead to increased quality of life and survival.
(1) Professor Ilse Rooman heads the Laboratory for Medical and Molecular Oncology, at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), dedicated to basic and translational research on pancreatic cancer.