Lipid biomarker looks promising in pancreatic cancer treatment

Share this article:

A newly discovered biomarker for pancreatic cancer could provide a new avenue of treatment for the disease.

With a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%, pancreatic cancer is targeted by only a small number of promising drugs. But now, researchers have found that an acidic phospholipid known as phosphatidylserine (PS) may be a biomarker for pancreatic cancer as well as a therapeutic target of the disease. PS is abnormally exposed on the membrane surface of human pancreatic tumor cells, according to a research team led by Xiaoyang Qi, PhD, associate professor of hematology oncology at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As Qi and colleagues described in PLOS ONE (2013;8[10]:e75507), they used laboratory tests to correlate PS exposure and the cytotoxic effect of the lysosomal protein saposin C (SapC) in human pancreatic cancer cells. The investigators assembled SapC and the natural lipid dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS) into nanovesicles, which selectively killed the cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) while leaving noncancerous cells unaffected. The cytotoxic effect correlated with the surface exposure level of PS on the tumor cells; a distinguishing feature of SapC-DOPS is its ability to bind to PS.

Qi's group also evaluated the effects of SapC-DOPS therapy in mouse models of human pancreatic cancer. Mice receiving this treatment showed clear survival benefits, and their tumors shrank or disappeared.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Factors contributing to pancreatic cancer identified

New research that provides a better understanding of pancreatic cancer may help identify those people at increased risk.

Education program helps with side effects of ovary removal for cancer prevention

Many women are having ovary-removing surgery as a cancer prevention measure, but many are often unaware of the possible side effects of the procedure.

Blocking STAT3 may increase antitumor immune response

Blocking STAT3 in cells of the immune system actually leads to increased antitumor immunity, according to new research.