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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

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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