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Aspirin slows spread of pancreatic cancer in tumor cells

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University have found that aspirin may slow the spread of some types of colon and pancreatic cancer cells.

Platelets are blood cells involved with clotting. They promote the growth of cancerous cells by releasing growth factors and increasing the response of certain proteins that regulate tumor cell development (oncoproteins). Low doses of aspirin, an anti-platelet drug, have been shown to reduce the risk of some types of gastrointestinal cancers, but the process by which aspirin hampers tumor growth has been unclear. “The current study was designed to determine the effect of inhibition of platelet activation and function by aspirin therapy on colon and pancreatic cancer cell proliferation,” the researchers wrote.

The research team combined activated platelets primed for the clotting process with three groups of cancer cells:

• metastatic colon cancer (cells that have spread outside the colon),

• nonmetastatic colon cancer (cells that grow only within the colon) and

• nonmetastatic pancreatic cancer cells.

When they added aspirin to the mixture, they found that the platelets were no longer able to stimulate growth and replication in the pancreatic and nonmetastatic colon cancer cells. The metastatic colon cancer cells continued to multiply when treated with aspirin.

In pancreatic cancer cells, low doses of aspirin stopped the platelets from releasing growth factor and hampered the signaling of the oncoproteins that cause cancer to survive and spread. Only very high doses — larger than are possible to take orally — were effective in stopping growth in the metastatic colon cells, explained the researchers.

The findings detail the interaction among platelets, aspirin and tumor cells and are promising for the future treatment of nonmetastatic cancer, according to the researchers. “Our study reveals important differences and specificities in the mechanism of action of high- and low-dose aspirin in metastatic and nonmetastatic cancer cells with different tumor origins and suggests that the ability of aspirin to prevent platelet-induced c-MYC [an oncoprotein] expression might be selective for a nonmetastatic phenotype.”

*credit verbatim via http://whatdoctorsknow.com*

Gold boosts chemo results in pancreatic cancer

New treatment using GOLD boosts results of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer:

GOLD nanoparticles could potentially supplement chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients, a new study suggests.

Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest forms of cancer, and is highly resistant to both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.But now new research led by scientists at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center suggests gold nanoparticles can help make existing treatments more effective.

Experiments involving pancreatic cancer cells and pancreatic stellate cells in a mouse model showed that tiny gold particles can be used as a vehicle to carry chemotherapy drug molecules into tumours.

They can also be used as a target to enhance radiation treatment on tumours.

The study comes after previous research found that gold nanoparticles can limit tumour growth in ovarian cancer during test on mice.The latest study revealed parallels with pancreatic cancer.

The gold nanoparticles were able to disrupt cellular communication in the area surrounding the tumors without harming normal cells.

The results were published in ACS NANO, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

Pancreatic cancer is characterised by tumour growth within the tissues in the pancreas.The pancreas helps regulate digestion, hormones and he metabolism of sugars.

The disease is often written off as a death sentence due to its resistance to conventional treatments.

In the United States alone, 42,000 people are expected to die of the disease in 2016.

There also don’t tend to be any symptoms in the early stages of pancreatic cancer, unlike other cancers which do cause symptoms.The news about gold nanoparticles aiding treatment of pancreatic cancer comes after a revolutionary drug to treat kidney cancer has finally been approved.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the drug nivolumab to be made available to late-stage kidney cancer patients through the NHS, in a bid to extend the lives of thousands of kidney cancer patients who may have faced an early death.

Kidney cancer patients across England, Wales and Northern Ireland told Kidney Cancer UK they were optimistic of good news in light of the excellent scientific data surrounding nivolumab, and the recommendation has been welcomed by patients.

*credit verbatim via http://www.express.co.uk and Lauren O’Callaghan*