Archive for the ‘Clinical Trials’ Category

AACR Conference & Poster Presentation

April 30, 2010 4 comments

AACR Annual Meeting 2010

I was very fortunate to attend the 101st Annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. last week. 

There were lots of promising compounds beginning pre-clinical testing by several companies that may someday have an application in treating bile duct cancers.  Unfortunately, there were not many presentations on current clinical research with Cholangiocarcinoma.  One poster presentation by a group of researchers in Japan showed evidence that a particular type of liver cell called a Hepatic Stellate cell, which has been known to cause fibrosis in chronic liver conditions, may play a key role in the formation of cholangiocarcinomas, and thus may direct future therapy development.  I have summarized the study below.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to attending the CanLiv Hepatobiliary conference in May and ASCO in June, where there are numerous clinical trails that will be discussed.  More on those later.

Poster title: Hepatic stellate cells promote progression of cholangiocarcinoma in vitro and in vivo

Authors: Hirohisa Okabe, Toru Beppu, Hiromitsu Hayashi, Takatoshi Ishiko, Toshiro Masuda, Ryu Otao, Masayuki Watanabe, Hiroshi Takamori, Hideo Baba. Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan

Summary: The study was designed to identify if hepatic stellate (HS) cells, which have previously been shown to have as pivotal role in fibrogenesis (defn: Formation of fibrous scar tissue) in the liver, exist in the cancer stroma and architecture of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cells and what the interaction of these cells are in vitro (in the laboratory) and in vivo (in a living organism).  HS cells are found in the sinuses between liver parenchymal spaces and exist in normal liver tissue in a quiescent state and only become activated when there is damage to the liver, as in cirrhosis or fibrosis.  It is thought that HS cells play a pivotal role in storing vitamin A when quiescent, but then release collagen scar tissue when they are activated in periods of disease. The authors examined proteins secreted by the co-culture of HS cells and CCA cells in culture medium and in mice in multiple combinations.

This results of this study indicated that HS cells have an important role in accelerating cholangiocarcinoma growth progression. Several proteins including Interleukin1 (IL1β), which is a potent proinflammatory cytokine, induced by co-culture model may be therapeutic targets for chemotherapy which focus tumor-stromal interaction in cholangiocarcinoma.


Clinical Trials Webinar: Capecitabine, Gemcitabine, & Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Cholangiocarcinoma

March 21, 2010 2 comments

 Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation Badge

The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation is generously sponsoring a free Webinar this Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 11:30am – 12:30 pm EDT.

As part of our ongoing Spotlight on Clinical Trials series, The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation invites you to join them for the upcoming web-based seminar featuring the active cholangiocarcinoma clinical trial entitled, “Capecitabine, Gemcitabine, and Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Cholangiocarcinoma of the Gallbladder or Bile Duct.” Principal Investigator Dr. Edgar Ben-Josef of the University of Michigan will lead the discussion of this clinical trial. A question and answer session will follow Dr. Ben-Josef’s remarks.

Click here to register.

This clinical trial was developed by the Southwest Oncology Group, and is a multi-center phase II clinical trial studying how well giving capecitabine together with gemcitabine followed by capecitabine and radiation therapy works in treating patients with cancer of the gallbladder or bile duct. In this trial, participants receive oral capecitabine every 12 hours on days 1-14, and gemcitabine hydrochloride IV over 30 minutes on days 1 and 8. Treatment repeats every 21 days for 4 courses in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. After the 12 week cycle concludes, participants begin receiving oral capecitabine every 12 hours on days 1-7, and undergo concurrent three-dimensional or intensity-modulated radiotherapy on days 1-5. Treatment repeats weekly for 5-6 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

All you need is an internet connection to join this Web-based seminar.  Once registered, you will receive an email with a link specific to you and instructions on how to join the Webinar on Tuesday.

Clinical Trials & Cholangiocarcinoma

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I had the privilege of joining a Webinar sponsored by the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.  First, kudos to these good folks for sponsoring Jack Welch, M.D., Ph.D. of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis.  Dr. Welch gave an informative lecture on the ABC’s of Clinical Trials. 

I won’t go into all of the details discussed, but some statistics Dr. Welch cited caught my attention:  There are approximately 5,000 new cases of biliary tract cancer diagnosed in the U.S. per year.  Contrast this to the 146,00 new cases of Colon Cancer per year or the 219,000 cases of lung cancer and you can easily see why there are not as many clinical trials on biliary cancers like cholangiocarcinoma (CCA).   More disturbing is the fact that only approximately 3% of U.S. Adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials.  Compare this to 90% of children diagnosed with leukemia participating in clinical trials.

However, this is not a reason to lose hope!  Despite the relative rarity of CCA and the fact that it has typically carried with it a poor prognosis, new treatments have Read more…