Navigation Links
Leukemia inhibitory factor may be a promising target against pancreatic cancer

LAKE TAHOE, Nev. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, defying most treatments. Its ability to evade therapy may be attributable to the presence of cancer stem cells, a subset of cancer cells present in pancreatic tumors that drive tumor growth by generating bulk tumor cells. Cancer stem cells are notorious for their ability to resist traditional chemotherapies.

However, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have discovered that two proteins KRAS and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) help create cancer stem cells and that the latter can be targeted to block them.

These results were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held here from June 18-21.

In many different types of tumors, a constitutively active, mutant form of the signaling protein KRAS helps drive the uncontrolled tumor cell proliferation that is a hallmark of cancer. In fact, more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancers exhibit KRAS mutations, but the link between KRAS and cancer stem cells has been tenuous until now.

Using human pancreatic cancer cell lines and mouse fibroblasts and pancreatic cancer cells, Man-Tzu Wang, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the McCormick lab at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF, and colleagues showed that KRAS causes cells to acquire and maintain stem cell-like properties.

"We know that KRAS is a very potent driver of pancreatic cancer, but we don't know how to drug it," said Wang. "Our results showed we can block KRAS-mediated cancer stem cells by blocking LIF activity."

KRAS is difficult to target therapeutically. Taking the next logical step, the researchers began looking for proteins that function downstream of KRAS in the generation of pancreatic cancer stem cells to determine if any of them could be potential drug targets. They found a number of candidates but focused on LIF, a protein known to regulate stem cell development. Moreover, they found that LIF is "druggable," making it a potential target for treatment.

Using neutralizing antibodies or shRNA, the team knocked down LIF activity or expression and found that each reduced the in vitro stem cell-like properties of mouse pancreatic cancer cells.

"We think our data indicate that blocking LIF can bring a significant improvement to cancer treatment," Wang said.

Knocking down cancer stem cells is critically important. Because these cells are slow-growing, they are often resistant to traditional chemotherapies, which target fast-growing cells. In addition, they also contain mechanisms that pump drugs out of the cell. Their survival allows them to continue to differentiate into mature cancer cells, leading to recurrent tumors.

Though there are no drugs currently available that target LIF, Wang is hopeful that these new data will spur the development of such products and generate new pancreatic cancer therapies.


Contact: Jeremy Moore
American Association for Cancer Research

Related medicine news :

1. Inhibitors of shuttle molecule show promise in acute leukemia
2. Marker distinguishes more-aggressive from less-aggressive forms of chronic leukemia
3. Child CT Scans Might Up Risk of Brain Cancer, Leukemia
4. Researchers identify a life-and-death molecule on chronic leukemia cells
5. New drug strategy attacks resistant leukemia and lymphoma
6. Inherited DNA change explains overactive leukemia gene
7. VCU Massey Cancer Center sees potential in novel leukemia treatment
8. A microRNA prognostic marker identified in acute leukemia
9. Study identifies potential treatment for lethal childhood leukemia
10. Therapy exploits addiction of leukemia cells
11. Study Shows New Option for Kids With Tough-to-Treat Leukemia
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear ... explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to ... Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored ... one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share ... video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... YORK , November 27, 2015 ... system is set to go online. The potential to ... processes is vast and far from fully exploited as ... to patient health records, either via mobile tablet or ... ) --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Netherlands , November 26, 2015 ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... Netherlands has found that immunotherapy can be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: