Volume 2.10 | Mar 15

Pancreatic Cell News 2.10, March 15, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY
Malaria Drug Slows Pancreatic Cancer Growth in Mouse Models
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists report they have shrunk or slowed the growth of notoriously resistant pancreatic tumors in mice, using a drug routinely prescribed for malaria and rheumatoid arthritis. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in Genes and Development]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Researchers Develop Synthetic Compound That May Lead to Drugs to Fight Pancreatic, Lung Cancer
Researchers have identified a chemical compound that may eventually lead to a drug that fights cancers that are dependent on a particular anti-viral enzyme for growth. [Press release from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas discussing online prepublication in Molecular Cell]

Heavy Drinking Associated with Increased Risk of Death from Pancreatic Cancer
Heavy alcohol consumption, specifically three or more glasses of liquor a day, is associated with an increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in the Archives of Internal Medicine]

UC Davis Launches Stem Cell Study to Reduce Amputations from Vascular Disease and Diabetes
The University of California (UC), Davis Vascular Center researchers have embarked on a highly anticipated study that involves using a patient’s own stem cells to increase blood circulation to the lower leg with the hope of preventing amputation due to severe arterial disease or diabetes. [University of California, Davis Health System Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DIABETES

RB Regulates Pancreas Development by Stabilizing Pdx1
Results demonstrate an unanticipated regulatory mechanism for pancreatic development and β-cell function, which involves RB-mediated stabilization of the pancreas-specific transcription factor Pdx-1. [EMBO J]

Recombinant Human Prolactin Promotes Human Beta Cell Survival via Inhibition of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Apoptosis Pathways
The proportion of apoptotic beta cells was significantly lowered in the presence of recombinant human prolactin under both cell death-induced conditions. [Diabetologia]

Islet-1 Regulates Arx Transcription During Pancreatic Islet α-Cell Development
Researchers showed that the number of Arx+ cells was significantly reduced in the pancreata of embryos deficient for the Islet-1 transcription factor, which was also supported by the reduction in Aristaless related homeodomain protein (Arx) mRNA levels. [J Biol Chem]

Stimulus-Induced S-Nitrosylation of Syntaxin 4 Impacts Insulin Granule Exocytosis
Data indicate a significant role for reactive nitrogen species in the insulin exocytosis mechanism in β-cells and expose a potential pathophysiological exploitation of this mechanism to underlie dysfunctional exocytosis. [J Biol Chem]

Dynamic Regulation of PDX-1 and FoxO1 Expression by FoxA2 in Dexamethasone-Induced Pancreatic β-cells Dysfunction
The results of the present study demonstrated that forkhead box (Fox)A2 could dynamically regulate FoxO1 and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX-1) expression in pancreatic β-cells treated with dexamethasone (DEX), which provides new important information on the transcriptional regulation of FoxO1 and PDX-1 in DEX-induced pancreatic β-cells. [Endocrinology]

An Indirect Role for NK Cells in a CD4+ T-Cell-Dependent Mouse Model of Type I Diabetes
The requirement for natural killer (NK) cells in β-cell destruction in the CD4-dependent T-cell antigen receptor transgenic NOD4.1 mice was examined. [Immunol Cell Biol]

PANCREATIC CANCER

TBK1 Directly Engages Akt/PKB Survival Signaling to Support Oncogenic Transformation
Researchers show that TBK1 directly activates AKT by phosphorylation of the canonical activation loop and hydrophobic motif sites independently of PDK1 and mTORC2. [Mol Cell]

Pancreatic Cancers Require Autophagy for Tumor Growth
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. [Genes Dev]

Association of Alcohol Intake with Pancreatic Cancer Mortality in Never Smokers
Results strengthen the evidence that alcohol consumption, specifically liquor consumption of 3 or more drinks per day, increases pancreatic cancer mortality independent of smoking. [Arch Intern Med]

Ep-CAM Is a Significant Prognostic Factor in Pancreatic Cancer Patients by Suppressing Cell Activity
Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (Ep-CAM) expression was found to be related to the suppression of pancreatic cancer cell activity and the good prognosis in pancreatic cancer patients receiving the curative resection. [Oncogene]

Synergistic Effect Between Erlotinib and MEK Inhibitors in KRAS Wildtype Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Results suggest that combination therapy of an EGFR and MAP kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors may have enhanced efficacy in patients with pancreatic cancer. [Clin Cancer Res]

MK-1775, A Potent Wee1 Inhibitor, Synergizes with Gemcitabine to Achieve Tumor Regressions, Selectively in p53-Deficient Pancreatic Cancer Xenografts
Results indicate that MK-1775 selectively synergizes with gemcitabine to achieve tumor regressions, selectively in p53-deficient pancreatic cancer xenografts. [Clin Cancer Res]

Suppression of the uPAR-uPA System Retards Angiogenesis, Invasion and In Vivo Tumor Development in Pancreatic Cancer Cells
The results of the present study demonstrate that the targeting of the uPAR-uPA system has therapeutic potential. [Mol Cancer Res]

INDUSTRY NEWS

GlaxoSmithKline and Tolerx Announce Phase III DEFEND-1 Study of Otelixizumab in Type 1 Diabetes Did Not Meet Its Primary Endpoint
GlaxoSmithKline and Tolerx, Inc. announced that the Phase III DEFEND-1 study of otelixizumab, an investigational humanized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, did not meet the primary efficacy endpoint of change in C-peptide at month 12 in patients with new-onset autoimmune type 1 diabetes. [GlaxoSmithKline plc Press Release]

Jasco Pharmaceuticals Initiates a Collaborative Research Program in Pancreatic Cancer with North Carolina Central University
Jasco Pharmaceuticals, LLC has initiated a collaborative research program with North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, focused on developing therapeutics for pancreatic cancer that function through a Pim kinase mechanism of action. [Jasco Pharmaceuticals, LLC Press Release]

TGen Foundation Launches ‘globalCure’, Targets Pancreatic Cancer
In an effort to improve treatment and one day find a cure for pancreatic cancer, The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Foundation joined with key donors and community leaders to announce the creation of globalCure. [The Translational Genomics Research Institute Press Release]

Sirona Biochem Receives TSX-V Conditional Approval for Acquisition of TFChem
Sirona Biochem Corporation announced that the TSX Venture Exchange has given conditional approval to proceed with the previously announced acquisition of TFChem S.A.S. [Sirona Biochem Corporation Press Release]

McCain Gift to Boost World-Leading Pancreatic Cancer Research and Care at The Princess Margaret
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation is very pleased to announce that a $5 million gift from Wallace and Margaret McCain will be used to establish The Wallace McCain Centre for pancreatic cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital. [The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation Press Release]

Idaho State University Researchers Study Promising Drug for Treating Pancreatic Cancer
A promising drug for treating pancreatic cancer is being studied by a team of Idaho State University researchers. The researchers’ efforts have been bolstered by a Higher Education Research Council $50,000 grant from the Idaho State Board of Education. [Idaho State University Press Release]

Exenatide Once Monthly Showed Positive Results in Phase II Study
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company and Alkermes, Inc. announced positive results from a Phase II study evaluating the effects of a once-monthly injectable suspension formulation of exenatide on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. [Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

Repligen Reports Positive Phase III Clinical Trial Results for RG1068 in Pancreatic Imaging
Repligen Corporation reported positive top-line results from a Phase III study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of RG1068, synthetic human secretin, to improve magnetic resonance imaging of the pancreas in patients with pancreatic disease using endoscopy as a diagnostic reference. [Repligen Corporation 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

NEW Targeted Antibodies for Cancer 2011
August 10-11, 2011
London, United Kingdom

NEW International Conference and Exhibition on Cancer Science & Therapy
August 15-17, 2011
Las Vegas, United States

NEW National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference
November 6-9, 2011
Liverpool, United Kingdom

NEW 21st Asia Pacific Cancer Conference 2011
November 10-12, 2011
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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)

Postdoctoral Position (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

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

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

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

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 Fellow (Medical College of Wisconsin)

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