Groups work to find pancreatic cancer biomarkers

When it comes to pancreatic cancer, one likely culprit is gastrin, a hormone known to stimulate the growth of various gastrointestinal cancers. There are antibodies that help take care of the guilty party, but reactions to the antibodies can vary widely from patient to patient. A just announced collaboration in the U.K. to handle this range is an example of what is meant by "personalized medicine" London Genetics and Astrimmune will work together to develop biomarkers to identify who would most-benefit from a vaccine against gastrin.

London Genetics is a nonprofit firm, specializing in clinical drug discovery and development, with seven academic partners. It will work with Astrimmune to develop biomarkers that predict response.

"Pancreatic cancer is an area of serious unmet medical need, with a five-year survival rate of around 5 percent and few treatment options," says Astrimmune managing director Fred Jacobs. "Availability of a biomarker to select those patients mostly likely to benefit from Astrimmune's vaccine candidate can be expected to expedite the development of this product and increase its chances of coming to market in the future," he adds, commenting in PharmaTimes.

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