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:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of ... Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ... Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with ... ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz ... under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... OAKLAND, N.J. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in the design, development and manufacturing of collagen ... and regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... Sales and Marketing to further leverage the growing ... surgery medical devices. Bill joins the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical ... structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: