Nutritional supplement works against some pancreatic cancer cells in mice
The dietary supplement gamma-linoleic acid can inhibit the growth of a subset of pancreatic cancer cells and selectively promote cancer cell death in mice, a Mayo Clinic study has found. The supplement, a fatty acid also known as GLA, worked particularly well when combined with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, the researchers say. The findings were presented today by Mayo Clinic pathologist Ruth Lupu, Ph.D., at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2012.
"One of the most devastating facts about pancreatic cancer is the paucity of effective drugs that exist to halt a tumor," Dr. Lupu says. "We knew from studies done about 20 years ago that polyunsaturated fatty acids such as GLA could influence cancers in general, but we didn't know which type of fatty acids and to what degree."
Dr. Lupu's team first tested GLA against a variety of pancreatic cancer cell lines, and found that it was effective only against a subtype, expressing a gene for fatty acid synthase (FASN). Earlier studies by Dr. Lupu's team had demonstrated that FASN is highly expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and appears to be a marker for poor overall survival in patients.
"This was very exciting finding, because we realized that GLA was working selectively and had a particular target within cells," Dr. Lupu says.
As researchers tested the GLA against cells with high levels of FASN, they found GLA inhibited about 85 percent of cell growth, while gemcitabine alone, the standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, had a modest effect on cell inhibition. When researchers combined GLA with gemcitabine, the cell growth was inhibited completely.
Then the team investigated the combination in mouse models of pancreatic cancer and found GLA in combination with gemcitabine significantly inhibited tumor growth.
"The two treatments worked synergistically, and we achieved a significantly higher inhibition of cell growth and higher incidence of dead pancreatic carcinoma cells," Dr. Lupu says. "We don't yet know why the combination works better, but we know that many drugs work better when used together."
Dr. Lupu says that because GLA targets FASN, which is present in high levels in certain pancreatic cancers, the supplement has real potential for individualized therapy.
Dr. Lupu cautions that patients or healthy individuals should not rush to take GLA or alter their chemotherapy without consulting their oncologist. Her next stage of research will be to develop a Phase I clinical trial to test the GLA-gemcitabine combination in human patients. Her group will also test GLA in combination with other chemotherapy drugs currently used to treat pancreatic cancer.
"Since resistance to gemcitabine and other chemotherapy drugs can be an issue in treatment, we hope GLA will work in combination with other chemotherapy drugs to offer patients a wide range of treatment opportunities," she says.
Provided by Mayo Clinic
- Combination therapy may enhance gemcitabine activity Feb 28, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Pancreatic cancer: Researchers find drug that reverses resistance to chemotherapy Sep 24, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers identify critical marker of response to gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer Jun 04, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- New boost for pancreatic cancer therapy Apr 02, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers Formulate Treatment Combination Lethal To Pancreatic Cancer Cells (w/Video) Apr 20, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) and other non-coding RNAs are small molecules that help control the expression of specific proteins. In recent years they have emerged as disease biomarkers. miRNA profiles have been used ...
Cancer May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Cancer cells spread and grow by avoiding detection and destruction by the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system can help to eliminate cancer cells; however, there are many factors that cause the immune system to ...
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Researchers from London's Kingston University have begun a two-year study which could help prolong the lives of people with colorectal tumours.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Transformative research from Western University has identified new hormones in the body which may suppress breast cancer and stimulate the regression of breast tumors.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Curtin University researchers have found evidence that targeting specific cells in the body can reverse the effects of cancer on the immune system.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 5
(HealthDay)—Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than those who never drive with a pet, researchers have ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0