Washington, Dec 3 (PTI) A small molecule can induce the self-destruction of pancreatic cancer cells, according to a study in mice that may lead to new treatment strategies for treating the disease in humans.
The researchers, including those from American Friends of Tel Aviv University (TAU) in the US, said pancreatic cancer is resistant to all current treatments with patients facing extremely poor chances of surviving for five years after being diagnosed.
The study, published in the journal Oncotarget, was conducted with xenografts -- transplantations of human pancreatic cancer into mice whose immune systems were weakened.
According to the researchers, treatment with the small molecule called PJ34 reduced the number of cancer cells by 90 per cent in the developed tumours a month after administration.
'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,' explained study co-author Malca Cohen-Armon from TAU.
'Thus, cell multiplication itself resulted in cell death in the treated cancer cells,' Cohen-Armon said.
The researchers said no adverse effects were observed, and there were no changes in the weight gain of the mice, nor in their behaviour. PTI VIS VIS VIS