Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mayo Clinic discovers ’new pathway’ against pancreatic cancer

15.03.2005


Pancreatic cancer kills 30,000 Americans every year. Not only is there no cure, but there are no effective treatments. That may change if a new finding by Mayo Clinic researchers continues to show promise. In the March 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research, (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/future/65.6.shtml) investigators describe discovering a key molecule that controls the growth, spread and survival of pancreatic cancer cells. This is a critical first step toward developing new and better treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer.



"This is a very exciting -- and surprising -- finding," says Daniel Billadeau, Ph.D., lead author of the report. To identify new target molecules with potentially therapeutic impact for a cancer for which there is currently no real useful treatment is incredibly important.

"Based on the literature, you would predict the opposite of what we found. But in fact, we determined that we can decrease a known regulator of cancer cell survival -- in effect, turn this regulator off -- and when we do, the pancreatic cancer cells undergo apoptosis (commit cell suicide) and die."


Significance of the Research

With this finding, a new path is cleared for researchers to target these key molecular players with new small molecule inhibitors to block their action, effectively turning off molecules that promote pancreatic cancer growth.

The finding may be applied to make pancreatic cells more sensitive to gemcitabine, the sole drug available for treating pancreatic cancer.

This discovery may lead to new drug development strategies for other cancers. Additional research will tell whether these same actors play a similar role in the spread of other cancer types.

The Key Finding

The Mayo Clinic researchers discovered a previously unrecognized role in pancreatic cancer for the GSK-3 Beta molecule. They determined that GSK-3 Beta is vital to pancreatic cancer cell survival and growth through its effects on a well-known gene regulator called NF Kappa B (pronounced "en-ef-kappa-bee").

The NF Kappa B protein is well known to researchers as a transcription factor that regulates many genes. In cancer cells, NF Kappa B regulates genes involved in cancer cell survival, proliferation and blood vessel formation (angiogenesis). NF Kappa B is hyperactive in many human cancers including pancreatic. The Mayo Clinic study shows that in pancreatic cancer, the activity of NF Kappa B is regulated by GSK-3 Beta. Researchers determined this by showing that if they could decrease GSK-3 Beta protein or inactivate it using small molecular inhibitors, they could likewise decrease NF Kappa B -- and deprive the pancreatic cancer cells of a means to grow and survive.

Notably, in pancreatic cancer, NF Kappa B activity is high -- which can cause resistance to chemotherapy drugs used to treat the disease. This new information suggests a potential means of treating pancreatic cancer by a two-pronged attack of administering the gemcitabine in combination with a drug to block GSK-3 Beta.

Nearly all die within five years of diagnosis

Despite recent advances in understanding how cancers work at the molecular level, pancreatic cancer lacks an effective treatment. Approximately 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually, and the disease kills the same number each year. Ninety percent of these cancers are pancreatic ductular adenocarcinoma, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Pancreatic cancer patients have one of the poorest prognoses -- the five-year survival rate is 3 percent. Because pancreatic cancer is aggressive, spreads rapidly and few treatment options are available, researchers welcome any promising leads for improving diagnosis and therapy.

Bob Nellis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>