Pancreatic cancer will be easier to treat, chemotherapy will be more effective; side effects will also be less
Although cancer of any organ is difficult to treat, but in the case of pancreas it is even more difficult. Because by the time it is detected, it has spread very much, that is, it has reached the advanced stage. In such a situation, the patient is hardly able to live more than a year after diagnosis. In these situations, very rapid chemotherapy remains an immediate method of treatment. But its side effects are also many. Chemotherapy has no effect on many tumors.
To combat these conditions, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a drug compound that weakens pancreatic cancer cells in a way that makes them vulnerable to chemotherapy. . This means that chemotherapy has an effective effect on the tumor. The special thing is that it also has less side effects. The study is published in the journal 'Science Translational Medicine'.
Researchers have reported that studies on rats found that this drug significantly reduced the side effects of the chemotherapy cocktail Folphyrinax (a combination of folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan and oxaliplatin). This combination of drugs is commonly used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Qian-Huat Limo, a cancer specialist and associate professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, and senior author of this research, said that given the current conditions, there is a great need for new and better therapies to treat pancreatic cancer. The powerful drugs we use now invariably cause serious side effects, making more chemotherapy almost impossible. But this new drug weakens the cancer cell, making it sensitive to this particular chemotherapy. In fact, during the experiment, it was found that the mice that were given chemotherapy with this drug looked much healthier than the mice that got chemotherapy only. This suggests that this new drug reduces the side effects of chemotherapy.
This drug, called ATI-450, is an anti-inflammatory and is also undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Folphyrinax is a frontline treatment for pancreatic cancer, but its use has been observed to shrink tumors in only one in three patients. Not only this, this limited effect also lasts only for six to seven months. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, anemia, and loss of appetite. It was discovered that there is a molecule called MK2, which helps pancreatic tumor cells to evade chemotherapy. This molecule is very active in pancreatic cancer cells, which modulates the signaling of chemotherapy, so that the cancer cells survive.
The ATI-450 is also special because it is an MK2 inhibitor. Therefore, when the new drug inhibited the functioning of MK2, the effect of chemotherapy was greater in mice. It was found that when chemotherapy was given with ATI-450 and chemotherapy was given without ATI-450, chemotherapy with ATI-450 reduced tumor size more. What's more, mice treated with this combination lived an average of 41 days after chemotherapy, while mice receiving chemotherapy alone lived an average of 28 days. This new method of treatment not only increased life expectancy but also reduced side effects.