One of the doctors behind the Sandler-Kenner Foundation discusses the benefits this unusual agent may have in treatment.
Irving, TX, Aug 12, 2015 – In the quest to offer better treatments and greater life expectancy odds for pancreatic cancer patients, researchers have uncovered an unusual option that is showing a great deal of promise. Salmonella, the bacteria so commonly associated with food poisoning, may have the ability to extend some patients’ lives, researchers say.
“This particular breakthrough is very encouraging for physicians and their patients who are looking for ways to extend life when this disease is diagnosed,” explains Dr. Gregory Echt, one of the physicians behind the Sandler-Kenner Foundation and the founder and lead surgeon at Choice Cancer Care. “As it stands in the present, the survivability rate for pancreatic cancer is very low with less than 10 percent of patients making it to the five-year mark.”
Researchers at the City of Hope have learned that a modified form of salmonella bacteria can prove very helpful in targeting tumors that have been proven to resist other forms of treatment. Current research indicates this form of treatment isn’t a cure, but it can extend life expectancy when highly aggressive forms of the disease are present.
While the new treatment hasn’t moved out of the animal-testing phase, results so far are highly promising. Researchers found, for example, that mice with pancreatic cancer were able to survive as many as 15 weeks longer than anticipated due to the treatment. The modified salmonella works by having the ability to crack into a tumor’s protective barrier, enabling the destruction of cancer cells in the process.
While it may still be some time before this particular treatment moves into the human testing phase, the promise it is showing thus far is encouraging, Dr. Echt says.
“We’re dealing with a disease that sees almost as many deaths each year as new cases diagnosed,” says Dr. Echt. “It is tremendously encouraging to see potential new options for changing those numbers under aggressive development.”
People at risk for pancreatic cancer are urged to discuss the condition with their healthcare providers. While current treatments are often problematic, early detection can greatly increase survivability chances.
About The Sandler-Kenner Foundation:-
, established in 2007 as the Las Colinas Cancer Center Foundation, was renamed in early 2011 in the memory of Michael Sandler and Peter Kenner, both of whom passed away from pancreatic cancer, a lethal disease that is difficult to diagnose until it has reached an advanced stage.