Volume 3.08 | Feb 28

Pancreatic Cell News 3.08, February 28, 2012
     In this issue: Publications | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs 
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TOP STORY
Study Finds Some Insulin Production in Long-Term Type 1 Diabetes
Research has found that insulin production may persist for decades after the onset of type 1 diabetes. Beta cell functioning also appears to be preserved in some patients years after apparent loss of pancreatic function. [Press release from Massachusetts General Hospital discussing online prepublication in Diabetes Care] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DIABETES

Early Window of Diabetes Determinism in NOD Mice, Dependent on the Complement Receptor CRIg, Identified by Noninvasive Imaging
Here investigators used a strategy based on magnetic resonance imaging of magnetic nanoparticles to noninvasively visualize local effects of pancreatic-islet inflammation to predict the onset of diabetes in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. [Nat Immunol] Abstract

Preventing Hypoxia-Induced Cell Death in Beta Cells and Islets via Hydrolytically Activated, Oxygen-Generating Biomaterials
Herein, researchers designed and developed a hydrolytically activated oxygen-generating biomaterial in the form of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-encapsulated solid calcium peroxide, PDMS-CaO2. The ability of this oxygen-generating material to support cell survival was evaluated using a β cell line and pancreatic rat islets. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Endothelial Progenitor Cell Cotransplantation Enhances Islet Engraftment by Rapid Revascularization
Since endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are known to aid neovascularization, scientists aimed to enhance islet engraftment by cotransplanting EPCs with islets. [Diabetes] Abstract

Hyperthermia with Mild Electrical Stimulation Protects Pancreatic β-Cells from Cell Stresses and Apoptosis
This study investigated whether heat shock protein 72 induction can reduce β-cell stress signaling and apoptosis and preserve β-cell mass. [Diabetes] Abstract

PANCREATIC CANCER

Gamma Secretase Inhibition Promotes Hypoxic Necrosis in Mouse Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Researchers demonstrate that the gamma secretase inhibitor MRK003 effectively inhibits intratumoral Notch signaling in the KPC mouse model of advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. [J Exp Med]
Abstract | Press Release

Protein Kinase C Iota Regulates Pancreatic Acinar-to-Ductal Metaplasia
In this study, protein kinase C iota expression was assessed in a mouse model of K-rasG12D-induced pancreatic acinar-to-ductal metaplasia and pancreatic cancer. [PLoS One] Abstract

Losartan Slows Pancreatic Tumor Progression and Extends Survival of SPARC-Null Mice by Abrogating Aberrant TGFβ Activation
In the present study, investigators sought to determine the mechanism by which lack of host SPARC alters the tumor microenvironment and enhances invasion and metastasis of an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer. [PLoS One] Abstract

Clinical Significance of Folate Receptor β-Expressing Tumor-Associated Macrophages in Pancreatic Cancer
The purpose of this study was to examine the appearance and distribution of folate receptor β-expressing macrophages in the pancreatic tumor microenvironment and their relationship to metastasis and prognosis in pancreatic cancer patients. [Ann Surg Oncol] Abstract

Both Inhibition and Enhanced Expression of miR-31 Lead to Reduced Migration and Invasion of Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Here, a comprehensive microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling in 16 pancreatic cancer cell lines and four normal pancreatic samples provided a specific molecular signature for pancreatic cancer and enabled researchers to identify 72 differentially expressed miRNAs with approximately half of them being up- and half downregulated in cancer cells as compared with normal samples. [Genes Chromosomes Cancer] Abstract

An Orally Active Lysophosphatidic Acid Receptor Antagonist Attenuates Pancreatic Cancer Invasion and Metastasis In Vivo
In the current study, scientists examined whether an orally active lysophosphatidic acid antagonist is effective for pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis in vivo. [Cancer Sci] Abstract

RGD-Conjugated Albumin Nanoparticles as a Novel Delivery Vehicle in Pancreatic Cancer Therapy
The aim of this study was to develop a novel arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide -conjugated albumin nanoparticle to enhance the intracellular uptake of anticancer drug into the pancreatic cancer cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis. [Cancer Biol Ther] Abstract

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SCIENCE NEWS

BioSante’s Pancreas Cancer Vaccine Shows Over 60% Survival Increase in Newly Presented Study
BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced presentation of results from a Phase Ib clinical study that show its GVAX Pancreas cancer vaccine increased the median survival of pancreatic cancer patients with previously treated, locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. [Press release from BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing research presented at the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, San Francisco] Press Release

Threshold Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Phase IIb Clinical Trial Results of TH-302 in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer
Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that its 214 patient randomized controlled Phase IIb clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of two doses of the investigational agent TH-302 in combination with gemcitabine compared to gemcitabine alone in patients with first-line advanced pancreatic cancer achieved its primary endpoint, with a 63% improvement in progression free survival and a safety profile consistent with previous studies. [Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

INDUSTRY NEWS

Asuragen Launches miRInform® Pancreas Test for Use on Fine Needle Aspirate Specimens of Pancreatic Masses
Asuragen, Inc. announced the immediate availability of the miRInform® Pancreas Test in its CAP-accredited CLIA Laboratory. The test evaluates expression levels of seven miRNAs in Fine Needle Aspirate specimens of pancreatic masses. [Asuragen, Inc.] Press Release

BSD Medical Reports Initiation of a Phase III Pancreatic Cancer Study
BSD Medical Corporation reports initiation of a randomized, multicenter, Phase III clinical study using the BSD-2000 Hyperthermia System to deliver hyperthermia in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients. [BSD Medical Corporation] Press Release

Cancer Research Institute Names 11 Outstanding Young Scientists to Receive Prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
The Cancer Research Institute, Inc. (CRI) announced that the Fellowship Review Committee of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council, with the approval of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, has named 11 new postdoctoral fellows from its October 2011 application round, totaling more than $1.8 million in research funding through the Irvington Institute Fellowship Program of the Cancer Research Institute. [The Cancer Research Institute, Inc.] 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 2012 Till & McCulloch Meetings
April 30-May 2, 2012
Montreal, Canada

NEW American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) – Molecularly Targeted Therapies: Mechanisms of Resistance
May 9-12, 2012
San Diego, United States

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – hPSC Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Antibody and Hybridoma Technology Platforms (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software, Inc.)

Associate Professor – Stem Cell Biology and Diabetes (McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine)

PhD Scholarships – Ion Transport Proteins in Control of Cancer Cell Behavior (Copenhagen University, Faculty of Science)


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