Volume 2.06 | Feb 15

Pancreatic Cell News 2.06, February 15, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY
Glucose and Inflammation Control Islet Vascular Density and Beta Cell Function in NOD Mice
Results demonstrate a novel role for glucose and inflammation in the control of islet vasculature and insulin content of beta cells in prediabetic and anti-CD3-treated NOD mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor production by the islets is affected by glucose levels and is imparted by soluble factors released by inflamed islets. [Diabetes]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Two Experimental Drugs Show Promise for Rare Pancreatic Cancer
In separate Phase III trials by French and American scientists, the drugs everolimus and sunitinib extended the survival of participants with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors from about five months to 11 months. [Press release from Bloomberg Businessweek discussing online prepublication in the New England Journal of Medicine]
 
Detection and Improved Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers may be zeroing in on a new way to detect one of the deadliest cancers in its earliest stages and also moving closer to developing a new treatment designed to stop the cancer before it can spread. In the first study, a team utilized a high-tech blood analysis technique to compare blood samples from patients with pancreatic cancer and those without. Another team has advanced its work into better understanding the role of non-embryonic cancer stem cells in the spread of pancreatic cancer. [Press release from the Oklahoma University Cancer Institute discussing online prepublication in Cancer Investigation and Cancer Research]
 
Clinical Trial Will Test Whether Surgery Is the Best Option for Type 2 Diabetes, Even for Patients Who Aren’t Obese
A new clinical trial at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is among the first to test surgery specifically for type 2 diabetes. The aim of the study is to understand whether surgery can control diabetes, as well or even better than the best medical treatment available today. [Weill Cornell Medical College Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DIABETES

Evidence That Nasal Insulin Induces Immune Tolerance to Insulin in Adults with Autoimmune Diabetes
Although nasal insulin did not retard loss of residual beta cell function in adults with established type 1 diabetes, evidence that it induced immune tolerance to insulin provides a rationale for its application to prevent diabetes in at-risk individuals. [Diabetes]

Unmasking Genes in a Type 1 Diabetes-Resistant Mouse Strain That Enhances Pathogenic CD8 T-Cell Responses
Researchers assessed whether a transgenic T-cell receptor disease transfer model allowed the mapping of recessively acting B6 genetic loci that in the proper context contribute to diabetes. [Diabetes]
 
The Heritability of Beta Cell Function Parameters in a Mixed Meal Test Design
The highest heritability for postprandial beta cell function was found for the insulinogenic index, but the most specific indices of heritability of beta cell function appeared to be beta cell glucose sensitivity and the insulin secretion rate during the first 30 min after a mixed meal. [Diabetologia]
 
In Vivo Genetic Engineering of Murine Pancreatic Beta Cells Mediated by Single-Stranded Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors (AAV) of Serotypes 6, 8 and 9
Intraductal administration of AAV6, AAV8 and AAV9 is an efficient way to genetically manipulate the pancreas in vivo. This technology may prove useful in the study of islet physiopathology and in assessment of new gene therapy approaches designed to regenerate beta cell mass during diabetes. [Diabetologia]
 
Calcium/Calmodulin-Dependent Kinase (CaMK) IV Controls Glucose-Induced Irs2 Expression in Mouse Beta Cells via Activation of cAMP Response Element-Binding Protein (CREB)
Results suggest that the Ca2+/CaMKIV/CREB cascade plays a critical role in the regulation of Irs2 expression in beta cells. [Diabetologia]
 
Inducible Adeno-Associated Virus-Mediated IL-2 Gene Therapy Prevents Autoimmune Diabetes
Researchers used a gene therapy-based approach to assess the efficacy of recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors expressing inducible IL-2 or TGF-beta1 transgenes to suppress ongoing beta cell autoimmunity in NOD mice. [J Immunol]

PANCREATIC CANCER

Everolimus for Advanced Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
Everolimus, as compared with placebo, significantly prolonged progression-free survival among patients with progressive advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and was associated with a low rate of severe adverse events. [N Engl J Med]
 
Sunitinib Malate for the Treatment of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
Continuous daily administration of sunitinib at a dose of 37.5 mg improved progression-free survival, overall survival, and the objective response rate as compared with placebo among patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. [N Engl J Med]

DCAMKL-1 Regulates Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Human Pancreatic Cells Through a miR-200a-Dependent Mechanism
Researchers report increased expression of the putative pancreatic stem cell marker DCAMKL-1 in an established KRAS transgenic mouse model of pancreatic cancer and in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. [Cancer Res]

Proteomic Analysis of Panreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells Reveals Metabolic Alterations
Data demonstrated that metabolic pathways were altered in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), consistent with Warburg effect. The analysis provides a potentially comprehensive picture of metabolism in PDAC, which may serve as the basis of new diagnostic and treatment of PDAC. [J Proteome Res]

Distinguishing Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer Patients From Disease-Free Individuals Using Serum Profiling
The study indicates that electrospray mass spectrometry is useful for distinguishing sera of early-stage pancreatic cancer patients from disease-free individuals. [Cancer Invest]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. Meets Primary Endpoint for First Part of U.S. Phase II Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trial
Oncolytics Biotech Inc. announced preliminary results from a U.S. Phase II clinical trial (REO 017) using intravenous administration of REOLYSIN® in combination with gemcitabine (Gemzar®) in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. [Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Press Release]

Takeda Enrolls Clinical Trial Subject in Phase III Study of Alogliptin in China
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Global Research & Development Center Asia, announced the commencement of enrollment for alogliptin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the company’s Phase III clinical trial led out of China. [Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. Press Release]
 
Targacept Announces Initiation of Phase II Studies of TC-6987 in Asthma and Type 2 Diabetes
Targacept, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel NNR Therapeutics™, announced the initiation of separate Phase II clinical studies of its product candidate TC-6987 in disorders characterized by inflammation, one in asthma and one in type 2 diabetes. [Targacept, Inc. Press Release]
 
Last Patient Completes the EU Phase III Study of Diamyd® Antigen Based Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes
The final patient has performed the last visit of the main study period in Diamyd Medical’s European Phase III study. Treatment with the antigen based therapy Diamyd® is made to investigate whether beta cell function and thereby blood sugar control can be preserved in children and adolescents with new onset type 1 diabetes. [Diamyd Medical AB Press Release]
 
UMASS Medical School’s Human Stem Cell Bank Makes Available First Seven Stem Cell Lines
The first seven stem cell lines grown and banked at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Medical School’s Human Stem Cell Bank are ready for worldwide distribution to researchers working on discovering new therapeutic treatments for diseases such as cancer, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, among others. [EurekAlert!]

Joslin’s Latino Diabetes Initiative Unveils Enhanced Website
Latinos are twice as likely to develop diabetes as Caucasians, and half the Latinos born in the United States in this century are predicted to get the disease. Helping to meet this challenge, Joslin’s Latino Diabetes Initiative has upgraded its website with additional resources for Latinos with diabetes and their families in both English and Spanish. [Joslin Diabetes Center Press Release]

Lilly CEO Says Industry, Public Policy Must Pave Way For Innovation
A new approach to research, along with public policies that support medical innovation, will help biopharmaceutical companies address stubborn diseases with potentially devastating personal and financial consequences, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, according to John Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)
 
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

National Health Service (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)

EVENTS

Prevent India 2011
February 19-20, 2011
Hyderabad, India

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the pancreatic cell community.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cell Biology (Joslin Diabetes Center/Harvard Stem Cell Institute)

Postdoctoral Position – Germline Stem Cells (R. L. Brinster, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

Quality Assurance Specialist – Gene Transfer & Somatic Cell Engineering Facility (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Field Applications Specialist – Cell Therapy (Medical) (Pall Corporation)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

Postdoctoral Scientist (University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences)

Chief, Division of Endocrinology (University of Florida/Shands)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Diabetes/Cardiovascular Disease (Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology – Diabetes (Lund University)

Postdoctoral Position in Biology (Inserm)

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Queen Mary University of London)
 
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Ontario Cancer Institute of University Health Network)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Medical College of Wisconsin)

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