man holding side in pain. Pancreatic cancer symptom concept
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
April 16, 2024 ·  3 min read

New Research Shows Drug Shrunk Up to 70% of Pancreatic Cancer Tumors

Pancreatic cancer is notorious for its aggressive nature and limited treatment options. Long has this disease posed a significant challenge in the medical field, until recently. Groundbreaking research has emerged, offering hope in the fight against this devastating disease. A recent study published in Nature shows promising results regarding a novel therapeutic approach developed by Revolution Medicines Inc. This drug, currently known as RMC-7977, has shown a remarkable ability to shrink pancreatic tumors by up to 70% in clinical trials. Led by academic researchers and experts alike from Columbia University and Revolution Medicines, this study marks a significant advancement in pancreatic cancer treatment.1

RMC-7977 and Pancreatic Cancer

The inhibitors in RMC-7977 target oncogenic forms of RAS proteins, including KRAS, NRAS, and HRAS, all of which are drivers for a substantial portion of human cancers. Pancreatic cancer, in particular, is heavily influenced by mutated KRAS (about 95% of cases).2 This groundbreaking drug directly tackles these cancer-causing proteins, offering a potential breakthrough.

The development of RMC-7977 comes from academia and the pharmaceutical industry working together. Dr. Kenneth Olive, a key figure in the study and an associate professor at Columbia University, initially approached with skepticism but was intrigued by the potential of the new inhibitors. Collaborating with Revolution Medicines, Olive’s team started preclinical studies, which yielded impressive results. The collaborative spirit extended to experts from various institutions, fostering a full-team approach to pancreatic cancer research.

Read More: Spotting These Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Could Save Your Life

Remarkable Results

Early experiments with RMC-7977 demonstrated never-before-seen effectiveness in preclinical models. The drug even sometimes outperformed existing combination therapies, showcasing an incredible potency in shrinking tumors across different systems. This effectiveness was seen even in models known for their resistance to conventional treatments, showing just how impactful RMC-7977 is on challenging tumor types.

While the preclinical findings are promising, the journey to application is ongoing. Dr. Olive emphasizes the need for “rigorous clinical trials to assess the drug’s effectiveness in human patients”. Even so, the potential of RMC-7977 offers hope for changing the standard of care for pancreatic cancer and could enhance patient outcomes and survival rates.

Safety Profile and Future Directions

What is most notable is the exploration of treatment resistance mechanisms for RMC-7977. Despite initial regression, instances of tumor recurrence were observed in preclinical models. Researchers were able to identify the role of the oncogene (a gene that can turn into a tutor cell) called MYC that drives resistance. This discovery shows just how complex pancreatic cancer is and highlights the importance of a holistic approach to overcome treatment resistance.

RMC-7977 also exhibited a favorable safety profile in preclinical studies, sparing healthy cells from harm while effectively targeting cancerous ones. This bodes well for its potential as a future treatment option, as it is not a loose cannon “everything must burn” approach previously seen for cancer treatment.

RMC-7977 represents a significant milestone in pancreatic cancer research. With its unprecedented effectiveness and collaborative approach, this drug holds immense promise for changing the landscape of pancreatic cancer treatment. While challenges still lie ahead before becoming cleared for clinical use, the findings offer renewed hope for patients and underscore the importance of continued investment in innovative therapeutic strategies.

Read More: Treatment Triggers Self-Destruction of Pancreatic Cancer Cells Within a Month


  1. Opening a New Front Against Pancreatic Cancer.” Columbia. April 8, 2024
  2. Breakthrough in fight against world’s deadliest cancer – new drug shrunk up to 70% of pancreatic tumors in lab study.” Daily Mail. Cassidy Morrison. April 8, 2024.