Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pancreatic Cancer Linked To Errant Reactivation Of Embryo Cell Pathway

Date:
June 24, 2003
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Research by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center specialists has uncovered a novel pathway in the origin of pancreatic cancers, one of the deadliest of malignancies. Their findings are reported in the June 23, 2003, issue of Cancer Cell.

Research by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center specialists has uncovered a novel pathway in the origin of pancreatic cancers, one of the deadliest of malignancies. Their findings are reported in the June 23, 2003, issue of Cancer Cell.

Related Articles


Working with cancer cells from 55 patients, the Hopkins team found that a growth signal normally turned off in adult tissues is mistakenly turned back on after injury or inflammation of the pancreas. "We think reactivation may be a first step in initiating pancreatic cancer, well before the onset of any alterations to the pancreatic cells' genetic material," says Steven D. Leach, M.D., Paul K. Neumann Professor in Pancreatic Cancer at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and director of the study.

The Notch pathway, when functioning normally, regulates embryonic development in a wide variety of organisms, ranging from fruit flies to humans. In adult tissues, the pathway becomes dormant as cells become differentiated to perform specialized functions. But, when the pancreas is injured or diseased, Notch signaling may be reactivated in the adult pancreas, resulting in conversion of adult pancreas cells to cells similar to those seen in embryonic pancreas. These primitive cells accumulate in the epithelium, or lining, of the pancreas, setting the stage for the additional genetic changes that lead to cancer. "Using drugs to deactivate the Notch pathway could prevent these cancer-causing events from occurring," says Leach.

When the researchers evaluated the pancreatic cancer samples at the genetic level, little to no activity of the Notch pathway was observed in normal pancreatic cells, while increased activity was seen in cancer cells and cells in the inflamed pancreas. In addition, the investigators found that when Notch signaling was blocked in test tube studies, they were able to prevent the early cellular changes leading to pancreatic cancer.

The investigators are now attempting to block Notch signaling in mouse models in hopes of developing a strategy for human pancreatic cancer prevention. "Curing pancreatic cancer is difficult. Few patients survive past five years. Preventing it may be the best path to pursue," says Leach.

Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates among all cancers. Each year, approximately 30,300 Americans are diagnosed with the disease, and nearly 30,000 die. Often unresponsive to conventional therapies, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death.

In addition to Leach, other investigators include Yoshiharu Miyamoto, Anirban Maitra, Bidyu Ghosh, Ulrich Zechner, Pedram Argani, Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, Virote Sriuranpong, Tatsuya Iso, Ingrid M. Meszoely, Michael S. Wolfe, Ralph H. Hruban, Douglas W. Ball, and Roland M. Schmid.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Pancreatic Cancer Linked To Errant Reactivation Of Embryo Cell Pathway." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030624084902.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2003, June 24). Pancreatic Cancer Linked To Errant Reactivation Of Embryo Cell Pathway. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030624084902.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Pancreatic Cancer Linked To Errant Reactivation Of Embryo Cell Pathway." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030624084902.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins