Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University might have come upon a method that will effectively address pancreatic cancer, one of the most pernicious diseases having no real treatment options.
In the July issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, the researchers showed that combining a dietary agent with a gene-delivered cytokine effectively eliminates human pancreatic cancer cells in mice displaying sensitivity to these highly aggressive and lethal cancer cells.
Cytokines are a category of proteins that are secreted into the circulation and can affect cancer cells at distant sites in the body, including metatases. The cytokine used in this study was melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24, known as mda-7/IL-24.
The dietary agent, perillyl alcohol (POH), was combined with mda-7/IL-24, which is already used in other cancer treatments. POH is found in a variety of plants, including citrus plants, and has been well-tolerated by patients who have received it in clinical studies.
The results indicated that the CGT approach not only prevented pancreatic cancer growth and progression, but it also effectively killed established tumors, thereby displaying profound chemopreventive and therapeutic activity.
Press release: VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine Researchers Publish Findings of a New Chemoprevention Gene Therapy That Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Abstract in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics…
Image: Pancreatic cancer cells growing in culture. Scanning electron micrograph 2008. Collection: Medical Photographic Library (Wellcome Images)