Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive, deadly tumor types and remains a tough target for treatment. It is usually diagnosed only when it has already advanced or metastasized, and standard chemotherapy regimens are largely ineffective against it. Newer immune-targeting therapies have also been relatively ineffective against pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which typically has a low survival rate even when treated with the best combination of conventional and experimental therapy.
Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy have reported promising early results from a clinical trial that combines two immunotherapies with chemotherapy in patients with metastatic PDAC. The combination more than doubled survival in these patients compared with standard therapy alone.
The team led by Dr Vikas Somani found that fenbendazole, commonly known as “FenBen”, an animal anthelmintic in the benzimidazole carbamate family, which has been used safely for more than six decades, can also block a key pathway of inflammation in pancreatic tumors and make them more sensitive to a type of immunotherapy called checkpoint immunotherapy that prompts the patient’s own T cells to attack. The combination therapy significantly improved the outcomes of patients with a specific subtype of metastatic pancreatic cancer, identified through a set of biomarkers. dewormer for cancer