About bile duct cancer

The bile duct drains bile from the liver into the small intestine. Bile duct cancer is a relatively rare cancer with an annual incidence of 1-2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world. The incidence rate has been rising worldwide over the past several decades. Survival is less than 25% at 2 years in patients with resectable tumour and less than 1% at 2 years in patients with unresectable tumour. Biliary tract sepsis, liver failure and/or malnutrition and cachexia due to locoregional effects of the disease are the most important causes of death.

Current treatment regime

Currently, surgery is the only curative option for these patients; yet the majority of the tumors are inoperable at presentation. Inoperable patients are treated with stenting to keep the bile duct open and with chemotherapy. The combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin has shown promising results and has become standard treatment in some regions, but there is still a need for better treatments to increase overall survival and quality of life.

PCI in the treatment of bile duct cancer

Bile duct cancer has been chosen as there is a clear medical need for a better local treatment, access with light is easy by using already established treatment procedures and one of the most used cytotoxic agents, gemcitabine, is one of the drugs that is significantly enhanced by PCI in preclinical studies.

Clinical study

The Proof of Concept study is an open-label, multi-centre Phase I/II study in up to 45 patients to assess the safety and efficacy of Amphinex induced PCI of gemcitabine, followed by systemic cisplatin/gemcitabine, in patients with inoperable bile duct cancer. The study consists of a dose escalation/phase I part to assess the tolerance of local bile duct treatment and a randomized double-arm phase II part. The Phase I primary objective is to determine a tolerable dose for local bile duct treatment with Amphinex induced PCI of gemcitabine, while the Phase II primary objective is to assess efficacy in terms of progression free survival.