Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarker, potential targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer discovered

Date:
October 4, 2013
Source:
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a biomarker, known as phosphatidylserine, for pancreatic cancer that could be effectively targeted, creating a potential therapy for a condition that has a small survival rate.

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have discovered a biomarker, known as phosphatidylserine (PS), for pancreatic cancer that could be effectively targeted, creating a potential therapy for a condition that has a small survival rate.

These findings, being published in the Oct. 4, 2013, online edition of PLOS ONE, also show that the use of a biotherapy consisting of a lysosomal protein, known as saposin C (SapC), and a phospholipid, known as dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS), can be combined into tiny cavities, or nanovesicles, to target and kill pancreatic cancer cells.

Lysosomes are membrane-enclosed organelles that contain enzymes capable of breaking down all types of biological components; phospholipids are a major components of all cell membranes and form lipid bilayers -- or cell membranes.

"Only a small number of promising drugs target pancreatic cancer, which is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths, with a five-year survival of less than 5 percent," says Xiaoyang Qi, PhD, associate professor of hematology oncology at UC and lead researcher on the study.

"Pancreatic cancer is usually asymptomatic in the early stages, while frequently invading lymph nodes and the liver, and less often the lungs and visceral organs. Current treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, have failed to improve long-term survival."

Qi says his lab and collaborators previously found that the combination of two natural cellular components, called SapC-DOPS, which were assembled and delivered using cancer-selective nanovesicles, caused cell death in other cancer cell types, including brain, lung, skin, prostate, blood and breast cancer, while sparing normal cells and tissues.

"We also investigated the efficacy and systemic biodistribution of SapC-DOPS nanovesicles in animal models and found that it targeted and halted growth of certain cancer cells and showed no toxic effects in non-tumor tissues. In this study, we selectively targeted the cell membrane of pancreatic tumors to see if we could destroy malignant pancreatic cells without harming normal tissues and cells."

Qi says a distinguishing feature of SapC-DOPS is its ability to bind to phosphatidylseriine (PS), a lipid, which is found on the membrane surfaces of pancreatic tumor cells.

"To evaluate the role of external cell PS, we used PS exposure in human tumor and non-tumor cells via culture," he says. "We also introduced these cells into animal models and then injected the SapC-DOPS vesicles to see if changes were observed. "

In some portions of the experiment, the SapC-DOPS nanovesicles were fluorescently labeled with a dye which could be followed using an imaging device.

To track tumor cells, human pancreatic tumor cells were illuminated with dye as well, and the same imaging device was used to identify and monitor them.

"We observed that the nanovesicles selectively killed human pancreatic cancer cells, and the noncancerous, or untransformed cells, remained unaffected," he says. "This toxic effect correlated to the surface exposure level of PS on the tumor cells."

Qi adds that animals treated with SapC-DOPS showed clear survival benefits and their tumors shrank or disappeared.

"Furthermore, using a double-tracking method in live models, we showed that the nanovesicles were specifically targeted to the tumors," he says. "These data suggest that the acidic phospholipid PS is a biomarker for pancreatic cancer that can be effectively targeted for therapy using cancer-selective SapC-DOPS nanovesicles.

"This study provides convincing evidence in support of developing a new therapeutic approach to pancreatic cancer. This technology is now being licensed and will hopefully be available in clinical trials soon."

"Dr. Qi 's discovery has great potential to be developed into diagnostics and therapies for pancreatic cancer," says Shuk-mei Ho, PhD, director of the Cincinnati Cancer Center and Jacob G. Schmidlapp Professor and Chair of Environmental Health. "This type of research helps fulfill the mission of the National Cancer Institute to promote translation of research from the bench to the bedside."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhengtao Chu, Shadi Abu-Baker, Mary B. Palascak, Syed A. Ahmad, Robert S. Franco, Xiaoyang Qi. Targeting and Cytotoxicity of SapC-DOPS Nanovesicles in Pancreatic Cancer. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (10): e75507 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075507

Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. "Biomarker, potential targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131004201451.htm>.
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. (2013, October 4). Biomarker, potential targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131004201451.htm
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. "Biomarker, potential targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131004201451.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. 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