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Predicting pancreatic tumor response

Promise -

Study shows CT scans have secondary benefit

By Will Fitzgerald

 Photo by F. Carter Smith

Computed tomography (CT) scans to guide pancreatic cancer treatment may provide an important secondary benefit. According to new MD Anderson research, the scans also reflect how well chemotherapy will penetrate the tumor, predicting the treatment’s effectiveness.

The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, is the first human study to address the issue of chemotherapy delivery to pancreatic tumors, a problem previously shown in animal studies.

 Jason Fleming, M.D.

“We found that the distribution of intravenous dye used in CT scans is a surrogate for chemotherapy delivery in the tumor,” says Jason Fleming, M.D., a professor in Surgical Oncology and corresponding author of the study. “Our results indicate that combining data from routine CT scans and using a mathematical formula developed by our team can predict response, guide patient treatment and lead to improved drug delivery.”

This research was primarily supported through grants from the Lustgarten Foundation, the Methodist Hospital Research Institute, including the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Distinguished Endowed Chair, and the National Institutes of Health Physical Sciences Oncology Centers.

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