Navigation Links
New Treatment Eyed for Deadly Pancreatic Cancer
Date:2/26/2010

Drug already approved for arthritis looks promising in lab tests, researchers say

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Most pancreatic cancer patients die soon after diagnosis, but researchers have identified an oncogene that appears to be a promising new treatment target.

Even more hopeful is that drugs that target this oncogene are already approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis and are undergoing tests with colon and lung cancers, said lead researcher Nicole Murray, an assistant professor of pharmacology and senior associate consultant in the department of cancer basic science at the Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville, Fla., branch.

"Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal disease," Murray said. "The current chemotherapeutics that we have available have not been very effective."

For the study, published in the March 1 issue of Cancer Research, Murray's team looked at the role the oncogene PKC-iota (PKCi) plays in pancreatic cancer. This gene has already been implicated in colon and lung cancers.

The researchers have been studying another gene called KRAS, which is mutated in 90 percent of pancreatic cancers and controls PKCi, but KRAS has not been easy to target with drug therapy, Murray noted. This is why they decided to investigate PKCi.

They found high levels of PKCi, which predicted poor survival, in most of the pancreatic cancer tumors sampled. Patients with high PKCi levels survived an average of 492 days, compared with 681 days for patients with low levels of the oncogene.

Five-year survival was 10 percent for those with high PKCi levels, compared with 29.5 percent for patients with low PKCi levels, the researchers noted.

In addition, in experiments in both cells and animals, the researchers found that PKCi was essential for the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.

"When we knocked out the PKCi genes in pancreatic cancer cells, we showed that these cells did not grow as cancer cells very well; they didn't invade other tissue very well," Murray said.

"When we put these cells into mice, we showed that not only did the tumors not grow very well, but they didn't metastasize well," she said.

These findings suggest that the arthritis drug aurothiomalate (Myochrysine), which targets PKCi, could effectively treat pancreatic cancer alone or combined with other chemotherapy. It could prevent pancreatic cancer cells from growing or make other chemotherapy more effective, Murray said.

Aurothiomalate is already in a phase I clinical trial for lung cancer patients at Mayo's Minnesota and Arizona sites, Murray said. A phase II trial being planned will combine aurothiomalate with drugs that target other molecules in these cancers, she noted.

It is possible that a future trial will test aurothiomalate in pancreatic cancer patients, she said.

Besides treating pancreatic cancer, PKCi might also be useful in diagnosing the disease, she added.

The findings intrigued William Phelps, program director for translational and preclinical cancer research at the American Cancer Society. "Pancreatic cancer is in dire need of new therapeutic opportunities. Those things we've got don't seem to work well," he said.

Each year, about 40,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed in the United States, and about 35,000 people die from it, Phelps said. "Typical survival after diagnosis is five to seven months," he said.

Pancreatic cancer is particularly resistant to treatment, and most cases are diagnosed when the disease is advanced, said Phelps.

The current drug approved to treat it, gemcitabine (Gemzar), is only minimally effective, Phelps said. "It's not really giving more than a two-month life extension," he said.

Targeting PKCi could be worthwhile, Phelps said. "This looks like a pretty good idea to go forward," he said.

Combining gemcitabine with a drug that targets PKCi could extend life expectancy, Phelps said.

Michelle Duff, director of research and scientific affairs at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, also finds these results encouraging.

"There is an urgent need for more effective treatment options in pancreatic cancer to improve patient outcomes," she said. "We are eager to see the results of further studies in preclinical models and eventually clinical trials."

More information

For more information on pancreatic cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Nicole Murray, Ph.D., assistant professor, pharmacology, and senior associate consultant, department of cancer basic science, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.; William Phelps, Ph.D., program director, translational and preclinical cancer research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Michelle Duff, director, research and scientific affairs, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, El Segundo, Calif.; March 1, 2010, Cancer Research


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New treatment effective in counteracting cocaine-induced symptoms
2. New treatment boosts muscle function in myasthenia gravis
3. Broad-based group of physicians calls for improvement in stroke treatment
4. Cranberry Could Juice Up Ovarian Cancer Treatment
5. Non-medicinal treatment touted for pre-schoolers with ADHD
6. Nonmedicinal treatment touted for preschoolers with ADHD
7. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
8. Biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of cancer
9. New Treatment Explored for Cluster Headaches
10. Thailand: Partners Open Free AIDS Treatment Clinic in Renowned AIDS Temple in Lop Buri
11. 4-Star Gen. Barry Mccaffrey, Former U.S. Drug Czar, to Keynote Recovery Happens! Rally for Treatment: Wed., Sept. 5, 11 Am, State Capitol West Steps, Sacramento
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Miami native and local periodontist ... “I could have never imagined back in 1991 that this journey would have taken ... Over the last 25 years, Dr. Gallardo has pioneered implant dentistry innovation, evolving into ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... proud to announce that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food ... and the MyoCycle Pro. , Both devices are stationary cycling systems that use ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... A ... stress at work can also decrease overall productivity and performance in the workplace. The ... employees. , During the last few weeks of April, Clearview Resolution Services will be ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... NV (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... now choose a modern procedure that achieves results in a fraction of the ... in Las Vegas, NV, with Significance Dental Specialists, now offers this revolutionary treatment ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... B. Chaudhary, MD is committed to providing the highest quality of spine care to all ... care with all my patients to alleviate possible future issues. I am pleased to have ... office and my trained staff will assist you in any way possible.” , Dr. Saad ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 Global ... This report on the prostate cancer therapeutics market ... global market. Increasing prevalence of prostate cancer, launch ... in the development of new drugs & therapeutic ... cancer drug due to lesser side effects are ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Companion animal vaccines ... pets such as canine, avian and feline. ... such as Attenuated Live Vaccines, Conjugate Vaccines, Inactivated ... Recombinant Vaccines. Attenuated live vaccines are derived from ... have been weakend under laboratory conditions. Conjugate vaccines ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH ) ... earnings per share (EPS) guidance and providing a preliminary ... conjunction with this morning,s announcement of the planned acquisition ... Insufficiency businesses. Cardinal Health now believes that ... at the bottom of its previous guidance range of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: