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I thought everyone may be interested in this from the USA:-

New Pancreatic Cancer Study Results From M.T. Mueller Et Al Described


October 8, 2009

"Pancreatic cancers contain exclusively tumorigenic cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are highly resistant to chemotherapy, resulting in a relative increase in CSC numbers during gemcitabine treatment. Signaling through sonic hedgehog and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), respectively, may be essential for CSC self-renewal and could represent putative targets for novel treatment modalities," scientists in Madrid, Spain report.

"We used in vitro and in vivo models of pancreatic cancer to examine the effects of sonic hedgehog inhibition (cyclopamine/CUR199691) and mTOR blockade (rapamycin) on the tumorigenic CSC population. Surprisingly, neither cyclopamine nor rapamycin alone or as supplements to chemotherapy were capable of effectivety diminishing the CSC pool. Only the combined inhibition of both pathways together with chemotherapy reduced the number of CSCs to virtually undetectable levels in vitro and in vivo. Most importantly, in vivo administration of this triple combination in mice with established patient-derived pancreatic tumors was reasonably tolerated and translated into significantly prolonged long-term survival. The combined blockade of sonic hedgehog and mTOR signaling together with standard chemotherapy is capable of eliminating pancreatic CSCs," wrote M.T. Mueller and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: "Further preclinical investigation of this promising approach may lead to the development of a novel therapeutic strategy to improve the devastating prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer."

Mueller and colleagues published their study in Gastroenterology (Combined Targeted Treatment to Eliminate Tumorigenic Cancer Stem Cells in Human Pancreatic Cancer. Gastroenterology, 2009;137(3):1102-1113).

For more information, contact C. Heeschen, Spanish National Cancer Research Center CNIO, Clinic Research Program, Stem Cells & Cancer Unit, Madrid, Spain.

Publisher contact information for the journal Gastroenterology is: W B Saunders Co-Elsevier Inc., 1600 John F Kennedy Boulevard, Ste. 1800, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2899, USA.

Copyright 2009, Cancer Weekly via NewsRx.com

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... and this one as well:-

New Anti-Cancer Drug Undergoing Testing

United Press International

October 7, 2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A U.S. Phase 1 clinical trial is under way to determine if a new anti-cancer drug is safe and effective for use in patients with solid cancer tumors.

The drug, currently called EP-100, is designed to treat common breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, skin and testicular cancers. It is being tested by TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare's Piper Cancer Center.

Dr. Ramesh Ramanathan, principal investigator for the trial, said the new drug is a membrane-disrupting peptide designed to "seek and destroy" cancer cells by targeting those with excessive luteinizing hormone releasing hormone receptors that are found in a wide range of cancers,

EP-100 is produced by Esperance Pharmaceuticals of Baton Rouge, La. The president of the company, Dr. Hector Alila, said EP-100 has the potential to offer improved safety and effectiveness over existing therapies, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

"Preclinical studies of EP-100 demonstrated this candidate's efficacy across multiple indications in oncology, including aggressive cancers known to be resistant to the current standards of care and, importantly, studies of EP-100's mechanism-of-action support that it targets and selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells," Alila said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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