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…