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Medical Oncology Program
Optimism is the driving force behind the Pancreas Center medical oncology team's view of patient care.
Unwilling to approach pancreatic cancer with the hopelessness that often accompanies a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, the team administers chemotherapy pre-operatively, post-operatively, and for primary treatment.
In addition to being up to date with the current standard of care for pancreatic cancer, our team also strives to develop and deliver cutting-edge treatment options that can lengthen patient survival.
|GTX Increases Response Rates and Survival|
|Metastatic Patients||Response Rates (%)||10||50|
|Median Survival (mo)||6.0||14.0|
|Inoperable Patients||Response Rates (%)||10||67|
|Median Survival (mo)||8||24|
One of these treatment innovations is GTX, which combines existing chemotherapy drugs, Gemzar, Taxotere, and Xeloda, in a unique regimen.
Despite pancreatic cancer's traditional resistance to chemotherapy, GTX has proven effective and boasts the highest response and survival rates in the United States and Europe in Phase II trials.
Dr. Robert Fine, director of the Pancreas Center medical oncology team, developed GTX in his Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons laboratory over the course of two years.
Based on scientific principles, GTX relies on a specific chemotherapy schedule to bypass the tumor's resistance mechanisms and kill the cancerous cells.
The drug combination and schedule also have a relatively low toxicity when compared to other multi-drug chemotherapy regimens.
To date, GTX has been the most successful treatment for patients with a metastatic disease profile, when delivered by oncologists familiar with GTX, doubling the median survival rate of six months when treated with Gemzar alone.
In some cases, when GTX is administered in a neoadjuvant setting with radiation, tumors previously categorized as unresectable shrink enough to be removed through surgical methods.
At the Pancreas Center, we have been able to offer surgical treatment to 67% of inoperable patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.