Monday August 20, 2018

Blocking Digestive Hormone May Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

The team explained that pancreatic growth and regeneration occurs through interaction of CCK with CCK receptors, proteins that bind to CCK to produce a physiological reaction

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Blocking digestive hormone may prevent diet-induced pancreatic cancer. Pixabay
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Blocking a digestive hormone associated with obesity may help prevent the spread of pancreatic tumours to other areas in the body, according to a study.

A high-fat diet promotes the growth of pancreatic cancer independent of obesity because of the interaction between dietary fat and cholecystokinin (CCK) — digestive hormone released by the small intestine. The hormone secretion gets further triggered by the fatty diet.

Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

“Most patients with advanced pancreatic cancer succumb to the disease due to metastases; therefore a compound that blocks metastases, even when the primary tumour size is large, may have clinical significance,” said the researchers including Jill Smith from the Georgetown University in the US.

“CCK [receptor] blockade may play a role in the treatment and prevention of pancreatic cancer,” they added.

Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Pixabay

For the study, published in American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, the team fed one group of mice with high-fat diet while the other half were given a normal diet. Then some of them were treated with proglumide — a medication that blocks CCK.

The results showed that mice treated with proglumide had less tumour growth than the untreated mice, even when fed a high-fat diet.

Further, they found that among high-fat diet-fed mice lacking CCK receptors did not show any tumour growth, suggesting that without receptors to bind to, increased CCK from dietary fat is unable to promote cancer.

Also Read: More Women Falling Prey to Lung Cancer: Study

The team explained that pancreatic growth and regeneration occurs through interaction of CCK with CCK receptors, proteins that bind to CCK to produce a physiological reaction.

Proglumide treatment also protected the mice from the development of excessive fibrous tissue — fibrosis — that can be associated with cancer metastases and resistance to chemotherapy, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Pancreatic Cancer: Cannabis Compound May Boost Survival

While the current study only looked at the effect of CBD in mice, clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm whether or not CBD improves survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients

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Cannabinoid may up survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients. Pixabay

A naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis along with chemotherapy could increase the survival rate by three times among mice with pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.

According to the researchers, the cannabinoid named Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause psychoactive effects and has been already cleared for use at the clinics.

“This is a remarkable result. We found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived nearly three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment,” said lead author Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London in Britain.

“Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials. If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug,” he added.

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Cannabis leaf. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Oncogene, the team tested the impact of the cannabidiol on the use of the commonly used chemotherapy medication Gemcitabine as a treatment for pancreatic cancer in mice.

“Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven per cent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed,” Falasca noted.

Also Read: Research: Gene Linked to Hair Loss May Improve Cancer Treatment

The team explained that CBD is also known to improve the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, meaning it could also improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

While the current study only looked at the effect of CBD in mice, clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm whether or not CBD improves survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients, the researchers said. (IANS)