Press "Enter" to skip to content

Drug Compound makes Pancreatic Cancer Cells more Vulnerable to Chemo

Pancreatic Cancer is difficult to treat. It is detected, cancer often has reached an advanced stage, and patients usually do not survive longer than one year after diagnosis. An aggressive chemotherapy regimen is the first-line treatment, but the side effects can be severe, and many tumors stop responding to treatment. The study is published Dec. 1 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a drug compound that makes Pancreatic Cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy. Studying mice, they found evidence suggesting that the drug also may reduce some of the damaging side effects of the chemotherapy cocktail FOLFIRINOX commonly used to treat Pancreatic Cancer.

The drug, ATI-450, is an anti-inflammatory therapy and also is being investigated in clinical trials as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. FOLFIRINOX is the front-line treatment for Pancreatic Cancer, but only about one in three patients will have tumor shrinkage following this therapy. Even then, this response only lasts six to seven months.

Side effects are common and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, low blood counts and poor appetite. The researchers found that a molecule called MK2 is critical in allowing the pancreatic tumor cells to survive chemotherapy. The molecule is highly activated in Pancreatic Cancer cells, where it turns on signaling pathways that favor survival and dial down cell death. ATI-450 is an attractive drug to test against these cancer cells because it is an MK2 inhibitor.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *