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Gemcitabine plus Irinotecan is an active chemotherapy for pancreatic and biliary cancer

A recent trial report from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, describes the use of intravenous irinotecan and gemcitabine for two consecutive weeks out of every three in patients with advanced pancreatic or biliary cancer. Out of 45 patients so treated in this Philadelphia study, there was a good response in 24% and a greater than 50% drop in the serum marker (CA 19-9) levels in 30% of patietns. The authors believe that this is more promising than the results with gemcitabine alone - although this must be validated in future corroborative studies.