Researchers Find Molecule That Triggers Self-Destruction Of Pancreatic Cancer Cells In Mice

Researchers Find Molecule That Triggers Self-Destruction Of Pancreatic Cancer Cells In Mice

The study was done with xenografts β€” transplantations of human pancreatic cancer into immunocompromised mice. The molecule PJ34 is being tested in pre-clinical trials as per FDA regulations before clinical trials begin.

Pancreatic cancer is known to be one of the deadliest forms of cancers. While it maintains a 95% mortality rate and is currently resistant to all the available treatment, there might be hope with researchers reporting a promising new treatment, that could be a potential breakthrough, reports Good News Network. After being diagnosed, patients have extremely poor chances of surviving even for five years. What's more, the disease does not show any symptoms until it's in the advanced stages, which makes it's difficult to diagnose on time. 



A new study conducted at Tel Aviv University found a small molecule, called PJ34, which causes the self-destruction of pancreatic cancer cells. The researchers used xenografts, i.e. the transplantations of human pancreatic cancer into mice whose immune systems were weakened. They found that the cancer cells were reduced by 90% in the developed tumor, only a month after it was administered.



The study, which was published in the journal Oncotarget, is said to hold great potential for the development of an innovative and effective therapy to treat this aggressive cancer in humans. "In research published in 2017, we discovered a mechanism that causes the self-destruction of human cancer cells during their duplication without affecting normal cells," stated Professor Malca Cohen-Armon of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine who led the study with her team in collaboration with Dr. Talia Golan’s team at the Cancer Research Center at Sheba Medical Center. 



"We have now harnessed this information to efficiently eradicate human pancreatic cancer cells in xenografts. The current results were obtained using a small molecule that evokes this self-destruction mechanism in a variety of human cancer cells," she added about the progress. "The mice were treated with a molecule called PJ34, which is permeable in the cell membrane but affects human cancer cells exclusively. This molecule causes an anomaly during the duplication of human cancer cells, provoking their rapid cell death. Thus, cell multiplication itself resulted in cell death in the treated cancer cells."


A number of mice who were injected with PJ34 every day for a period of 14 days experienced a relative drop in the pancreatic cancer cells in the tumors by 90%. In one mouse, however, the tumor had completely disappeared. "It is important to note that no adverse effects were observed, and there were no changes in the weight gain of the mice, nor in their behavior," said Professor Cohen-Armon. Apparently, this mechanism also works efficiently in other types of cancer resistant to current therapies. At the moment, the molecule PJ34 is being tested in pre-clinical trials as per the FDA regulations before any clinical trials begin. 

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Recommended for you