Preclinical Study Identifies Potential Immunochemotherapeutic Option for Pancreatic Cancer

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In a preclinical study led by Paul B. Fisher, MPh, PhD, and Luni Emdad, MBBS, PhD, researchers from the VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) discovered a potentially safe and effective novel treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Using immunochemotherapy, which enlists the patient’s immune system to battle their cancer, researchers found that the delivery of [pIC]PEI into a pancreatic cancer cell can trigger cancerous cell death while leaving normal pancreatic cells intact. With an less than 6% overall 5-year survival rate, the need for improved pancreatic cancer treatment is clear.

The high rates of death after diagnosis are attributed to the difficulty in diagnosis the disease before it progresses and spreads to other organs within the body in addition to the disease’s established drug resistance.

Dr. Emdad noted that pancreatic cancer is among the top five leading causes of cancer death within the United States and that immunotherapy may be a key in establishing effective treatment. The research was published in the journal Cancer Research and the research is the first to link the proteins associated with programmed cell death as prime mediators in cancer-specific killing via [pIC]PEI.

Their research indicated that in vitro [pIC]PEI causes cell death in pancreatic cancer cells, and that, in vivo, [pIC]PEI also inhibited tumor growth via cell death. More preclinical studies are being scheduled in order to learn more about the effectiveness of [pIC]PEI and researchers hope to eventually translate their research to help patients with pancreatic cancer.   

Preclinical Study Identifies Potential Immunochemotherapeutic Option for Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers discovered a potentially safe and effective novel treatment for pancreatic cancer.
VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine researchers discovered a unique approach to treating pancreatic cancer that may be potentially safe and effective.
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