New compounds shrink pancreatic cancer tumours

27 June 2015

Researchers at the University College London (UCL) have designed a chemical compound that is able to reduce the growth of pancreatic cancer tumours by 80 per cent.

Using animal models, they found the compound MM41 could block faulty genes by targeting little knots in their DNA, called quadruplexes.

Published in Nature Scientific Reports, the study found that MM41 had a strong inhibiting effect on two genes - k-RAS and BCL-2 - which are both found in most pancreatic cancers. 

The small-scale trial found that large doses of MM41 could reduce tumours by an average of 80 per cent. In addition, it also found that tumour regrowth had stopped after 30 days for all models.

Further investigation found that MM41 had been taken up into the nucleus of the cancer cells showing that it was able to effectively target the pancreatic cancer tumour.

Maggie Blanks, chief executive of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, said: "To find a potential new way to kill pancreatic cancer tumour cells is an exciting development."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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