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      Recent progress in pancreatic cancer : Pancreatic Cancer

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          Abstract

          Pancreatic cancer is currently one of the deadliest of the solid malignancies. However, surgery to resect neoplasms of the pancreas is safer and less invasive than ever, novel drug combinations have been shown to improve survival, advances in radiation therapy have resulted in less toxicity, and enormous strides have been made in the understanding of the fundamental genetics of pancreatic cancer. These advances provide hope but they also increase the complexity of caring for patients. It is clear that multidisciplinary care that provides comprehensive and coordinated evaluation and treatment is the most effective way to manage patients with pancreatic cancer. Copyright © 2013 American Cancer Society, Inc.

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          Most cited references 172

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          Pancreatic cancers require autophagy for tumor growth.

          Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a regulated catabolic pathway to degrade cellular organelles and macromolecules. The role of autophagy in cancer is complex and may differ depending on tumor type or context. Here we show that pancreatic cancers have a distinct dependence on autophagy. Pancreatic cancer primary tumors and cell lines show elevated autophagy under basal conditions. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy leads to increased reactive oxygen species, elevated DNA damage, and a metabolic defect leading to decreased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Together, these ultimately result in significant growth suppression of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. Most importantly, inhibition of autophagy by genetic means or chloroquine treatment leads to robust tumor regression and prolonged survival in pancreatic cancer xenografts and genetic mouse models. These results suggest that, unlike in other cancers where autophagy inhibition may synergize with chemotherapy or targeted agents by preventing the up-regulation of autophagy as a reactive survival mechanism, autophagy is actually required for tumorigenic growth of pancreatic cancers de novo, and drugs that inactivate this process may have a unique clinical utility in treating pancreatic cancers and other malignancies with a similar dependence on autophagy. As chloroquine and its derivatives are potent inhibitors of autophagy and have been used safely in human patients for decades for a variety of purposes, these results are immediately translatable to the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients, and provide a much needed, novel vantage point of attack.
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            Cancer-associated stromal fibroblasts promote pancreatic tumor progression.

            Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is characterized by a dense background of tumor associated stroma originating from abundant pancreatic stellate cells. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of human pancreatic stellate cells (HPSC) on pancreatic tumor progression. HPSCs were isolated from resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma samples and immortalized with telomerase and SV40 large T antigen. Effects of HPSC conditioned medium (HPSC-CM) on in vitro proliferation, migration, invasion, soft-agar colony formation, and survival in the presence of gemcitabine or radiation therapy were measured in two pancreatic cancer cell lines. The effects of HPSCs on tumors were examined in an orthotopic murine model of pancreatic cancer by co-injecting them with cancer cells and analyzing growth and metastasis. HPSC-CM dose-dependently increased BxPC3 and Panc1 tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and colony formation. Furthermore, gemcitabine and radiation therapy were less effective in tumor cells treated with HPSC-CM. HPSC-CM activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase and Akt pathways in tumor cells. Co-injection of tumor cells with HPSCs in an orthotopic model resulted in increased primary tumor incidence, size, and metastasis, which corresponded with the proportion of HPSCs. HPSCs produce soluble factors that stimulate signaling pathways related to proliferation and survival of pancreatic cancer cells, and the presence of HPSCs in tumors increases the growth and metastasis of these cells. These data indicate that stellate cells have an important role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer. Identification of HPSC-derived factors may lead to novel stroma-targeted therapies for pancreatic cancer.
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              DPC4, a candidate tumor suppressor gene at human chromosome 18q21.1.

              About 90 percent of human pancreatic carcinomas show allelic loss at chromosome 18q. To identify candidate tumor suppressor genes on 18q, a panel of pancreatic carcinomas were analyzed for convergent sites of homozygous deletion. Twenty-five of 84 tumors had homozygous deletions at 18q21.1, a site that excludes DCC (a candidate suppressor gene for colorectal cancer) and includes DPC4, a gene similar in sequence to a Drosophila melanogaster gene (Mad) implicated in a transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-like signaling pathway. Potentially inactivating mutations in DPC4 were identified in six of 27 pancreatic carcinomas that did not have homozygous deletions at 18q21.1. These results identify DPC4 as a candidate tumor suppressor gene whose inactivation may play a role in pancreatic and possibly other human cancers.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
                CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
                Wiley
                00079235
                September 2013
                September 2013
                July 15 2013
                : 63
                : 5
                : 318-348
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore; MD
                [2 ]Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore; MD
                [3 ]Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore; MD
                [4 ]Professor, Department of Radiology; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore; MD
                Article
                10.3322/caac.21190
                3769458
                23856911
                © 2013
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://doi.wiley.com/10.3322/caac.21190

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