Volume 2.18 | May 10

Pancreatic Cell News 2.18, May 10, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY

Oncolytic Viruses Effectively Target and Kill Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells, Research Finds
Oncolytic viruses quickly infect and kill cancer stem cells, which may provide a treatment for tumors that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiation, particularly pancreatic cancer, according to new research. [ScienceDaily]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Stem Cells May Hold Key to Reversing Diabetes
Stem cells and pancreatic precursor cells may someday help researchers make beta-cell replacement therapy a reality for patients with diabetes. [Press release from Endocrine Today discussing research presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 20th Annual Meeting]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DIABETES

Cross-Talk Between Interferon-γ and Hedgehog Signaling Regulates Adipogenesis
The results identify a novel antagonistic cross-talk between IFN-γ and hedgehog (Hh) signaling in white adipose tissue and demonstrate IFN-γ as a potent inhibitor of Hh signaling. [Diabetes]

Immobilization of Soluble Complement Receptor 1 on Islets

In this study, human soluble complement receptor 1 (sCR1) was immobilized on the islet cell surface through poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated phospholipid (PEG-lipid) without loss of islet cell viability or insulin secretion ability. [Biomaterials]

Role for Inducible cAMP Early Repressor in Promoting Pancreatic Beta Cell Dysfunction Evoked by Oxidative Stress in Human and Rat Islets 
Because oxidised LDL diminish the expression of genes regulated by the inducible cAMP early repressor, researchers investigated the involvement of this transcription factor and of oxidative stress in beta cell failure elicited by oxidised LDL. [Diabetologia]

Transgenic Expression of Murine Chemokine Decoy Receptor D6 by Islets Reveals the Role of Inflammatory CC Chemokines in the Development of Autoimmune Diabetes in NOD Mice

Researchers generated a transgenic NOD mouse model that overproduces the inflammatory CC chemokine decoy receptor D6 in pancreatic islets. [Diabetologia]

Loss of Huntingtin-Associated Protein 1 Impairs Insulin Secretion from Pancreatic β-Cells
Using the Cre-loxP system, researchers generated conditional Hap1 knockout mice to selectively deplete the expression of Hap1 in mouse pancreatic β-cells. [Cell Mol Life Sci]

The Dynamin-Related GTPase Opa1 Is Required for Glucose-Stimulated ATP Production in Pancreatic Beta Cells
Here, using the Cre-loxP system, researchers deleted mouse Opa1 in pancreatic beta cells, in which glucose-stimulated ATP production in mitochondria plays a key role in insulin secretion. [Mol Biol Cell]

Modulation of the Transactivation Function and Stability of Kruppel-Like Zinc Finger Protein Gli-Similar 3 (Glis3) by Suppressor of Fused
In this study, researchers identify a region within the N-terminus of Glis3 sharing high levels of homology with the Ci/Gli family of proteins. [J Biol Chem]

Insulin Improves β-Cell Function in Glucose-Intolerant Rat Models Induced by Feeding a High-Fat Diet
This study investigated the effects of insulin treatment on pancreatic lipid content, and β-cell apoptosis and proliferation in glucose-intolerant rats to explore the protective role of insulin on β-cell function. [Metabolism]

PANCREATIC CANCER

Novel TGF-β Antagonist Inhibits Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis by Inducing IL-2 Receptor-Driven STAT1 Activation
To antagonize TGF-β–mediated effects in tandem with a proinflammatory immune stimulus, researchers generated a chimeric protein borne of the fusion of IL-2 and the soluble extracellular domain of TGF-βR II (FIST). FIST acts as a decoy receptor trapping active TGF-β in solution and interacts with IL-2–responsive lymphoid cells, inducing a distinctive hyperactivation of STAT1 downstream of IL-2R, which in turn promotes SMAD7 overexpression. [J Immunol]

Targeting of Pancreatic and Prostate Cancer Stem Cell Characteristics by Crambe crambe Marine Sponge Extract
Researchers collected ten marine sponges and one freshwater sponge by diving at the seaside and prepared crude methanolic extracts. The effect to established pancreatic and prostate cancer stem cell lines was evaluated by analysis of apoptosis, cell cycle, side population, colony and spheroid formation, migratory potential in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. [Int J Cancer]

Loss of E-cadherin Expression and Outcome Among Patients with Resectable Pancreatic Adenocarcinomas
The aim of this study was to determine if, among patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, loss of E-cadherin expression was an independent predictor of poor outcome. [Mod Pathol]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Acquires European and Asian Rights to MM-398, Nanoliposomal Irinotecan
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and PharmaEngine, Inc. announced the signing of an agreement under which Merrimack has acquired the rights to develop and commercialize MM-398 (aka PEP02) in Europe and Asia. [Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

Sanofi-Aventis Opts Out of Diabetes Deal with Metabolex
Sanofi has returned the rights to the type 2 diabetes drug, MBX-2982, to Metabolex, opting out of a deal that could have been worth $375 million to the biotech company. [Bioportfolio]

Infinity Reports First Quarter 2011 Financial Results
Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. highlighted its recent clinical and business progress and announced its first quarter 2011 financial results. The company advanced key clinical programs in the first quarter, while also retaining its strong financial position and bolstering its senior management team. [Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

Over 1000 Patients Enrolled in World’s Largest Ever Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Trial
KAEL-GemVax, a leading oncology biopharmaceutical company, announced that it had been officially notified by the independent Data Monitoring Committee that over 1000 patients have been enrolled in the TeloVac Study, making it the world’s largest ever pancreatic cancer vaccine trial. [News Medical]

Diamyd Reports Initial Results from European Phase III Trial in Patients Newly Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes
Diamyd Medical AB reports that results from its European Phase III study with the antigen-based therapy Diamyd® did not meet the primary efficacy endpoint of preserving beta cell function at 15 months, as measured by meal stimulated C-peptide, in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients. [Diamyd Medical Press Release]

LCT Approved for DIABECELL® Clinical Trial in Argentina
Living Cell Technologies Limited, a global company pioneering the development of a cell implant to treat diabetes, has obtained approval to commence a Phase II DIABECELL clinical trial in Buenos Aires, Argentina, DIABECELL’s third jurisdiction to date which has approved human trials. [Living Cell Technologies Limited 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 The 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress
September 23-27, 2011
Stockholm, Sweden

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Postdoctoral Position (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

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

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

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