Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New trick for 'old' drug brings hope for pancreatic cancer patients

Date:
August 3, 2014
Source:
Cancer Research UK
Summary:
Scientists have found a new use for an old drug by showing that it shrinks a particular type of pancreatic cancer tumor and stops it spreading.

Scientists have found a new use for an old drug by showing that it shrinks a particular type of pancreatic cancer tumour and stops it spreading.

Related Articles


Cancer ResearchUK scientists have found a new use for an old drug by showing that it shrinks a particular type ofpancreatic cancertumour and stops it spreading, according toresearchpublished inGut*.

The scientists, at theCancer Research UK Beatson Instituteand theUniversity of Glasgow, treated mice with pancreatic cancers caused by known genetic faults with the drugrapamycin**.

Previous clinical trials did not find this drug to be effective as a treatment for pancreatic cancers when it was given to all patients with different forms of the disease.

But the team’s findings show that a particular type of pancreatic tumour – caused by a fault in the gene PTEN, which is involved in cell growth – may be responsive to the drug after all.

They found that giving rapamycin to mice with faulty PTEN pancreatic tumours stopped the cancer cells from spreading. In some cases the drug also caused the tumour to shrink.

The drug blocks a protein called ‘mammalian target of rapamycin’ (mTOR), which also controls cell growth. The research suggests that tumours caused by the faulty PTEN gene may be dependent on mTOR to keep growing.

And in an analysis of a sample of human pancreatic tumours the team found that around one in five carried a faulty PTEN gene, giving hope that a substantial number of patients could benefit from treatment with rapamycin.

Study author, Dr Jennifer Morton, a scientist at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, University of Glasgow, said: “This is incredibly important research showing for the first time that there’s potential to tailor treatment to pancreatic cancer patients based on differences in their tumour’s genetic fingerprint.

“Although it’s at a very early stage, it’s the first time we’ve been able to pinpoint a genetic fault in pancreatic cancers and match it up with a specific drug.

“While more research is needed to see if this approach could benefit patients, it’s a crucial step forward in developing new treatments for this devastating disease which has seen no survival improvements since the 70s.”

The scientists also used a new type of imaging to help them see if the drug was working early on in the treatment, which may help doctors in the future monitor if the patient is responding.
Every year 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK. Just over three per cent of people diagnosed with the disease will survive for five years or more.

Dr Kat Arney, science communications manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “This is a promising step towards being able to understand how pancreatic tumours differ from each other and how we can personalise treatments to them. It’s a challenging disease where little progress has been made and that’s why Cancer Research UK is making pancreatic cancer a research priority.

“Over the next few years we plan to more than double the amount we spend on pancreatic cancer research to accelerate research into understanding the biology of this disease and change the odds for patients.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cancer Research UK. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. C. Morran, J. Wu, N. B. Jamieson, A. Mrowinska, G. Kalna, S. A. Karim, A. Y. M. Au, C. J. Scarlett, D. K. Chang, M. Z. Pajak, K. A. Oien, C. J. McKay, C. R. Carter, G. Gillen, S. Champion, S. L. Pimlott, K. I. Anderson, T. R. J. Evans, S. M. Grimmond, A. V. Biankin, O. J. Sansom, J. P. Morton. Targeting mTOR dependency in pancreatic cancer. Gut, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306202

Cite This Page:

Cancer Research UK. "New trick for 'old' drug brings hope for pancreatic cancer patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140803193511.htm>.
Cancer Research UK. (2014, August 3). New trick for 'old' drug brings hope for pancreatic cancer patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140803193511.htm
Cancer Research UK. "New trick for 'old' drug brings hope for pancreatic cancer patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140803193511.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
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