Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Pressure Drugs Halt Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth, Researchers Find

Date:
April 15, 2008
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Researchers are inching closer to understanding how common blood pressure medications might help prevent the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer. They have found in the laboratory that one type of pressure-lowering drug called an angiotensin receptor blocker inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth and causes cell death. In previous work, they showed that such drugs helped reduce the development of tumor-feeding blood vessels, or angiogenesis.

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia are inching closer to understanding how common blood pressure medications might help prevent the spread of pancreatic cancer. They have found in the laboratory that one type of pressure-lowering drug called an angiotensin receptor blocker inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth and causes cell death.

In earlier work in the laboratory, Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College, and her team showed that angiotensin receptor blockers may help reduce the development of tumor-feeding blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. Other studies have linked a lower incidence of cancer with the use of angiotensin blocking therapies. Such drugs, she says, may become part of a novel strategy to control the growth and spread of cancer.

One of these drugs -- AT1R (Ang II type 1 receptor) blockers -- inhibit the function of the hormone angiotensin II (Ang II) in the pancreas. The receptor is expressed in pancreatic cancer cells. Ang II increases the production of VEGF, a vascular factor that promotes blood vessel growth in a number of cancers. High VEGF levels have been correlated with poor cancer prognosis and early recurrence after surgery. Dr. Arafat's research team has shown that AngII indirectly causes VEGF expression by increasing AT1R expression.

Dr. Arafat's group explored the effects of blocking AT1R on the pancreatic cancer cell reproductive cycle and programmed cell death, or apoptosis, and the mechanisms involved. It found that blocking AT1R inhibited pancreatic cancer cell growth and promoted cell death. "This happens through inducing the activity of the gene p53, which controls programmed cell death, and also by inhibiting anti-cell death pathways such as those involving the gene bcl-2." The team reports its findings April 14, 2008 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego.

The researchers also found that blocking AT1R affects p21, a gene that regulates the cell cycle. "We found that blocking this receptor can cause cell cycle arrest," she notes.

"This is really exciting because the role of this receptor has never been known," Dr. Arafat says. "It's never been connected to cell division or apoptosis. We're also now further exploring the mechanisms involved. The exciting thing is that this receptor already has so many available pharmaceutical blockers on the market." Ultimately, the group hopes to be able to test these agents in human trials, she says.

Pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in this country, takes some 34,000 lives a year. The disease is difficult to treat, particularly because it is frequently detected after it has spread to other areas on the body. Only 4 percent of all individuals with pancreatic cancer live for five years after diagnosis, and approximately 25 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer who undergo successful surgical removal of their disease live at least that long.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Blood Pressure Drugs Halt Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth, Researchers Find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414113210.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2008, April 15). Blood Pressure Drugs Halt Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth, Researchers Find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414113210.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Blood Pressure Drugs Halt Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth, Researchers Find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414113210.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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