Brain protein could be starting point for new treatments for pancreatic cancer

brain protein could be starting point for new treatments for pancreatic cancer

Sumary of Brain protein could be starting point for new treatments for pancreatic cancer:

  • Researchers have discovered that a protein thought to only be involved in the development of neurons in the brain also plays a major role in the development and growth of pancreatic cancer..
  • Their findings demonstrate for the first time how the protein, called Netrin-G1, helps pancreatic cancer cells survive by protecting them from the immune system and supplying them with nutrients..
  • Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat because tumours are often fibrotic, which means they develop extra connective tissue throughout the pancreas..
  • This connective tissue aids the growth of pancreatic cancer and provides a physical and biochemical protective barrier against drugs and the immune system..
  • This protective barrier is made up of a type of cell called a cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF), which interact with cancer cells to help them grow and survive..
  • Dr Edna Cukierman, Associate Professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and Co-Director of the Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute, who led the study, said:.
  • “Using a system we developed to study CAFs in a fibrous-like environment that mimics how they would behave inside the pancreas, we identified Netrin-G1 as being highly expressed in CAFs, and found that it supports the survival of pancreatic cancer cells..
  • We uncovered that Netrin-G1 allows CAFs to provide cancer cells with nutrition as well as secreting factors that inhibit anti-tumour immune cell function.”.
  • The study, published in Cancer Discovery and part-funded by UK charity Worldwide Cancer Research, also found that an antibody that neutralises Netrin-G1 was able to stunt the development of progression of pancreatic tumours in mice, demonstrating the potential of developing new treatments for pancreatic cancer that target Netrin-G1..
  • We believe that limiting Netrin-G1 function provides the starting point for the design of new treatments in a type of cancer that is in dire need for effective therapies..
  • In the UK, over 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year and over 9,000 people lose their life to the disease…

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