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My visit to Israel to ascertain research into PC

Trevor F

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I spent 2 days in Israel last week visiting three medical faculties to look at current research on pancreatic cancer, purely from an academic point of view.

My first visit was to the Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv where I was given a presentation on macrophages and the growth of pancreatic cancer cells by infiltration into the nervous system. What triggers neural invasion is unknown and their research sets out to find the trigger. Pancreatic cancer invasion along nerves is regulated by a paracrine pathway that involves GDNF or glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor. This pathway may be a target for preventing nerve invasion in pancreatic cancer. Experiments with mice treated with an inhibitor of the pathway regulating GDNF expression revealed reduced nerve invasion.Tumors from patients with pancreatic cancer that had invaded nerves showed more GDNF receptors than normal tissue.

My second visit was to the Medical Faculty of the Hebrew University at the Hadassah Hospital. Their research into ductal pancreatic adecarcinoma indicates that the carcinoma arises from precursor lesions called PanIN (Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia). Tumour suppressor PTEN, a negative regulator of PI3K signaling, restricts the formation of PanIN lesions in mice. Their current work examines the role of further components of PI3K signaling in the formation of PanIN lesions and pancreatic cancer, using both chemical and genetic approaches for carcinogenesis in mice.

My third visit was to the Sackler Medical Faculty at Tel Aviv University where a small team have developed a technique that inserts 0.5mm width chemical electrodes into the tumour and blasts the local tumour apart from the inside. I'm not sure what the side effects are in this case. However I was advised that this should be used together with chemotherapy if possible.

Immune system boosters and supplements should be used and keep taking the Gemzar, if appropriate ! They considered Gemzar to be the most effective chemo treatment.

Please contact me through this Forum if you want further details of their current and ongoing research. Please also advise of similar current UK research.

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Hi Trevor and how nice to hear from you again.

How interesting is that research! I particularly like the thought of blowing Ted's tumours apart! I might have to mention that to his consultant when we go along this week.

I'm not aware of any similar research in the UK, so it's particularly exciting to know that other countries are putting in the resources.

Keep in touch


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Thank you for the report from your visit Trevor. It is very encouraging to hear about research in other countries, which should help everyone affected by pancreatic cancer as there is an increasing amount of international collaboration now and the charity is looking at ways in which it can help foster this. There are significant research centres for pancreatic cancer in the UK at Barts in London, Cambridge, Liverpool, Oxford, Glasgow and Southampton, although as we know the amount of research funding is much lower than we would like it to be. A number of the UK centres, an in particular Barts and Liverpool, are investigating the biology of tumour development and metastasis and their work may well complement that at the Sourasky Medical Centre and Hadassah Hospital. We are not aware of any similar work in the UK to that at the Sackler Medical Faculty but will look out for the results of their work when it is published and how it might be applied in the UK.

Best wishes,


Research Manager, PCUK

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To add to this topic there has been an announcement of a new early stage trial for pancreatic cancer beginning in Israel.

Tiltan Pharma Ltd has begun an early Phase II clinical trial of the TL-118 drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer in Israel. The trial will include 80 patients at three Israeli hospitals, and will take about a year. Patients in the trial will be treated with standard chemotherapy with the addition of TL-188. TL-188 aims to prevent blood flow to tumours in order to prevent growth.

For more information see http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/ ... 8&fid=1725


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