Tracking and targeting therapy resistance in pancreatic cancer
© Science Photo Library – STEVE GSCHMEISSNER
Detecting and disabling drug resistant genes that drive tumour growth could help fight pancreatic cancer. Currently, pancreatic cancer patients have just a six per cent chance of surviving for five years.
A team, including Keio University researchers, investigated the role of Musashi (Msi), a protein linked to pancreatic tumour growth. They bred mice with pancreatic tumours and introduced drug resistant genes that produce Msi. Live imaging of the tumours revealed that Msi generation increased as the cells became malignant. When the Msi genes were removed, the tumours only grew to a fifth of the size. The authors tested 400 chemicals that block these genes and found two which significantly reduced tumour growth.
"This suggests that Msi antagonists could be a new strategy for targeting resistance to chemotherapy." said study author, Tannishtha Reya, from UC San Diego in a statement.
- Nature 534,407–411 (2016). doi: 10.1038/nature17988