Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find possible new treatment strategies for pancreatic cancer

04.03.2011
New University of Georgia research has identified a protein that can be modified to improve the effectiveness of one of the most common drugs used to treat pancreatic cancer.

The research, published in the March edition of the journal Cancer Research, found that a cell-surface protein called CNT1, which transports cancer-killing drugs into tumor cells, was reduced in function in two thirds of pancreatic tumors.

By improving the function of CNT1, the researchers increased the effectiveness of the cancer-killing drugs in pancreatic tumor cells derived from human patients, said lead-author Raj Govindarajan, assistant professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences in the UGA College of Pharmacy.

"The transporter was failing to take up the drug, so there were a bunch of different drug-resistant tumor cells," said Govindarajan. "Therapies that restore CNT1 could increase the effectiveness of the drug by helping carry the drug into the cell."

The drug most commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer is called gemcitabine and works by entering into the DNA of cancer cells and stopping replication. Many pancreatic tumor cells are resistant to gemcitabine, which makes the disease very difficult to treat, explained Govindarajan.

The researchers identified different methods to enhance CNT1 function and slow growth of the tumor cells. They found that by using additional drugs that inhibit pathways that degrade CNT1, they could partially restore its normal function and transport more gemcitabine into the tumor cells to prevent proliferation of the tumor.

The researchers attained the same results by genetically augmenting CNT1. "We over-expressed this protein in tumor cells so that it is functional continuously throughout the cell cycle, and it took up a lot of the drug and facilitated tumor killing," said Govindarajan. "So it shows potential for therapeutic aspects."

Govindarajan and his colleagues also found that CNT1 was likely regulated by tiny RNA molecules called micro-RNAs. "Micro-RNAs are clearly emerging as a new paradigm in gene regulation," said Govindarajan. "We could potentially use micro-RNAs to increase CNT1 expression and increase tumor-cell targeting of gemcitabine."

The American Cancer Society estimates that 43,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year, and about 85 percent of those will die within one year of diagnosis.

Govindarajan said that the findings need to be evaluated in laboratory animals for both effectiveness and toxicity aspects to determine if they are feasible therapeutic options. He hopes that future studies will confirm the possibilities of combining additional therapies with gemcitabine to more effectively treat pancreatic cancer. "What we are trying to do is see if we can improve the standard of care for treating pancreatic cancer," he said.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and by the department of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences at the University of Georgia.

For more information on the UGA College of Pharmacy, see http://www.rx.uga.edu/.

Raj Govindarajan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

Further reports about: CNT1 RNA molecule pancreatic cancer pancreatic tumor tumor cells

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>