A new study has discovered a small molecule called PJ34 that can cause pancreatic cancer cells to self-destruct. The study's findings were originally published in the journal Oncotarget.
For the study, Tel Aviv University researchers used xenografts, which is the method of transplanting human pancreatic cancer into immunocompromised mice. It helped decrease the number of pancreatic cells by almost 90 per cent.
"In research published in 2017, we discovered a mechanism that causes the self-destruction of human cancer cells during their duplication (mitosis) without affecting normal cells," study senior author Malca Cohen-Armon from Tel Aviv University in Israel stated in a press release. Adding, "We have now harnessed this information to efficiently eradicate human pancreatic cancer cells in xenografts. The current results were obtained using a small molecule that evokes this self-destruction mechanism in a variety of human cancer cells."
Mice were injected withPJ34 daily for two weeks. After a month, the results showed that pancreatic cancer cells in the tumours significantly dropped. The team also found that the tumour completely disappeared in one mice. "It is important to note that no adverse effects were observed, and there were no changes in the weight gain of the mice, nor in their behaviour," Cohen-Armon stated.
Researchers are currently testing molecule PJ34 in pre-clinical trials before they begin clinical trials. While there is more research to be done, the findings could help scientists develop a more effective treatment against cancer.
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center have also developed a drug that may help to treat pancreatic cancer. "If we can disable the DNA damage response in pancreatic cancer cells, it might eliminate treatment resistance and sensitize the cancer to the effects of both radiation and chemotherapy," lead study author Kyle Cuneo, an associate professor of radiation oncology at Michigan Medicine, told a news portal.
Senior study author Ted Lawrence, an Isadore Lampe Professor and chair of radiation oncology at Michigan Medicine, told a news portal: "If we're ever going to cure pancreatic cancer, we're going to need effective systemic treatment as well as local therapy. Our data suggests that AZD1775 can do both."
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease as it can spread quickly to other parts of the body."There's no mammogram for it, and you don't feel your pancreas in the shower. It's so deep in the body that a cancer has very few symptoms that cause it to be discovered, " Dr Eric Collisson, a leading University of California, San Francisco oncologist, told a news portal. Adding, "The job of the pancreas in normal people is to make enzymes that digest your food - especially fatty food - and to make insulin and glucodone, hormones which signal other parts of the body to get ready to digest and process food."
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