Navigation Links
New Therapies Show Some Promise Against Pancreatic Cancer
Date:6/19/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Giving four weeks of a targeted drug before starting chemotherapy improved response rates in a small group of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, University of Michigan researchers report.

The results are "very, very preliminary," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La., but may show "a modicum of progress at least in understanding the biology of the disease. Pancreatic cancer is an incredibly difficult cancer to treat."

The findings were presented Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research's conference on pancreatic cancer in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

The drug, GDC-0449, targets the Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway, which is switched on when cancer is present.

Activation of the pathway seems to contribute to the scarring characteristics of pancreatic cancer, which makes it harder for chemotherapy drugs to penetrate and do their job.

The researchers hypothesized that giving GDC-0449 before chemotherapy might improve the efficacy of chemotherapy and their early findings indicate that may be the case.

GDC is already used for advanced basal cell carcinoma under the name Erivedge (vismodegib).

Twenty-one patients with previously untreated metastatic pancreatic cancer first received four weeks of GDC, given in pill form once a day, then chemotherapy with the drug gemcitabine.

Biopsies taken both before GDC was given and three weeks later showed tumor shrinkage in five patients while another four patients achieved "stable" disease, meaning the tumor was not shrinking or growing.

The drug was most effective in patients who initially had high levels of Hedgehog expression.

Hedgehog levels are notably elevated in cancer stem cells. These are "a subset of cells identified in many cancers, including pancreatic cancer, which are believed not only to drive tumor growth but which are also particularly resistant to standard therapies like chemotherapy and radiation," explained study author Dr. Edward Kim, a medical oncologist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

"The response rate to gemcitabine was what one would expect," said conference chairman Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, physician-in-chief and distinguished professor at the Translational Genomic Research Institute and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

That was somewhat disappointing, but "the good news is that the inhibitors do not add any kind of substantial toxicities whatsoever," he said. "The next step is a randomized trial."

A second study being presented at the conference, this one conducted in mice, found a protein that makes pancreatic cancer cells stubbornly refuse to respond to treatment.

Blocking the protein, known as RLIP76, in mice with pancreatic cancer resulted in "complete regression" in the tumors, said study senior author Dr. Sanjay Awasthi, a professor of medical oncology and therapeutics research, and diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif.

RLIP76 transports killer chemicals from chemotherapy drugs and radiation out of the cells before they can do their jobs. There tends to be more RLIP76 in pancreatic cancer cells than in healthy human cells.

Beating back RLIP76 levels also seemed to have anti-diabetic effects, as these mice showed declines in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.

Awasthi said he and his colleagues hope to move forward with this molecule, possibly as both an anti-diabetes and anti-cancer drug.

Awasthi is the founder of Terapio, the company that makes the recombinant RLIP76 protein to treat radiation poisoning. Terapio is not involved with any application of the protein to treat cancer.

Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on pancreatic cancer.

SOURCES: Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; May 19, 2012, press conference with Edward J. Kim, M.D., Ph.D., medical oncologist, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Sanjay Awasthi, M.D., professor, medical oncology and therapeutics research, and diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., physician-in-chief and distinguished professor, Translational Genomic Research Institute and professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Student researchers seek to develop new therapies for cancer
2. Doubt Cast on Usefulness of Sensory Therapies for Autism
3. Moffitt researchers find cancer therapies affect cognitive functioning among breast cancer survivors
4. Study examines adverse effects among different radiation therapies for prostate cancer
5. Inhibitors of shuttle molecule show promise in acute leukemia
6. Nanoparticles engineered at Notre Dame promise to improve blood cancer treatment
7. Nanomedicines promise fewer side effects in treating cancer
8. Antioxidant shows promise as treatment for certain features of autism, Stanford study finds
9. New TB test promises to be cheap and fast
10. In Rat Study, Eye Device Shows Promise for Restoring Sight
11. New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Trial
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Therapies Show Some Promise Against Pancreatic Cancer
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on ... Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability ... fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, ... minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to ... value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired ... Time). As previously announced on May 31, ... merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced ... Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their offering. ... Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart Structures, ... involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that ... such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: