Volume 1.02 | May 4

Pancreatic Cell News 1.02, May 4, 2010.


Triptolide Induces Cell Death in Pancreatic Cancer Cells by Apoptotic and Autophagic Pathways
This study shows, for the first time, that triptolide kills pancreatic cancer cells by two different pathways. It induces caspase-dependent apoptotic death in MiaPaCa-2, Capan-1 and BxPC-3 and caspase-independent autophagic death in metastatic cell lines, S2-013, S2-VP10 and Hs766T, thereby making it an attractive chemotherapeutic agent against a broad spectrum of pancreatic cancers. [Gastroenterology]



Momenta Pharmaceuticals Announces Presentation of Preclinical Data on the Anti-Cancer Properties of M402 at AACR Meeting
Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced presentation of results from a preclinical study of its novel oncology drug candidate, M402, in a murine pancreatic cancer model. [Press release from Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010]

Pancreatic Cancer: Minimally Invasive Treatments and Possible Links to GI Diseases
Researchers have confirmed a suspected link between pancreatic cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, while other science shows that intra-abdominal fat serves as a predictor of survival in pancreatic cancer patients, and new technology shows promising results for improvements in complicated surgery for pancreatic pseudocysts. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2010]

Quality of Life Testing and Pancreatic Disease
Quality-of-life measures used routinely to assess treatment outcomes for patients with pancreatic disease may be used to predict both malignancy and survival for those patients. Researchers found that pre-treatment quality-of-life scores could predict malignancy in patients with pancreatic lesions and survival in those who are found to have malignancies. [Press release from Henry Ford Hospital discussing research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2010]




Regulation of MafA Expression in Pancreatic Beta Cells in db/db Mice with Diabetes
It is likely that the augmented expression of c-Jun in diabetic islets decreases MafA expression and thereby reduces insulin biosynthesis, which is often observed in type 2 diabetes. [Diabetes]

Beta Cell-Specific Znt8 Deletion in Mice Causes Marked Defects in Insulin Processing, Crystallisation and Secretion
This is the first report of specific beta and alpha cell deletion of Znt8. The data indicate that while, under the conditions studied, zinc transport family member 8 (ZnT8) is absolutely essential for proper beta cell function, it is largely dispensable for alpha cell function. [Diabetologia]

Mixed-Lineage Kinase-3 Stabilizes and Functionally Cooperates with Tribbles 3 to Compromise Mitochondrial Integrity in Cytokine-Induced Death of Pancreatic Beta Cells
Using an ex vivo model of islet-splenocyte co-culture, researchers show that mixed lineage kinase 3 mediates its effects via the pseudokinase TRB3, a mammalian homolog of drosophila tribbles. [J Biol Chem]

PAX8 Expression in Well-Differentiated Pancreatic Endocrine Tumors: Correlation With Clinicopathologic Features and Comparison With Gastrointestinal and Pulmonary Carcinoid Tumors
The purpose of this study was to evaluate PAX8 expression in pancreatic endocrine tumors, and to correlate expression with clinical and pathologic features and behavior. [Am J Surg Pathol]

Successful Human Islet Isolation and Transplantation Indicating the Importance of Class 1 Collagenase and Collagen Degradation Activity Assay
Here, researchers show the differences between the C1 collagenase found in purified collagenase products manufactured by three suppliers and the impact of differences in C1 between two suppliers on human islet yield. [Transplantation]

Co-Graft of Allogeneic Immune Regulatory Neural Stem Cells (NPC) and Pancreatic Islets Mediates Tolerance, while Inducing NPC-Derived Tumors in Mice
The aim of this study was to define whether NPC administered in combination with pancreatic islets prevents rejection in a fully mismatched allograft model. [PLoS One]


Mass Spectrometry Analysis of the Post-Translational Modifications of Alpha-Enolase from Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells
The result showed that more acetylated lysines, methylated aspartic acids and glutamic acids were found in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells than that of normal pancreatic duct cells. [J Proteome Res]

The Silencing of MicroRNA 148a Production by DNA Hypermethylation Is an Early Event in Pancreatic Carcinogenesis
Researchers show that the hypermethylation of the DNA region encoding miR-148a is responsible for its repression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) precursor lesions and can be a useful tool for the differential diagnosis of PDAC and chronic pancreatitis. [Clin Chem]

Effects of Thymoquinone in the Expression of Mucin 4 in Pancreatic Cancer Cells: Implications for the Development of Novel Cancer Therapies
MUC4 transient silencing studies showed that c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways are activated in pancreatic cancer cells, indicating that the activation of these pathways by thymoquinone (TQ) is directly related to the mucin 4 downregulation induced by the drug. [Mol Cancer]

Half-Antibody Functionalized Lipid-Polymer Hybrid Nanoparticles for Targeted Drug Delivery to Carcinoembryonic Antigen Presenting Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Researchers synthesize anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) half-antibody conjugated lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles and characterize their ligand conjugation yields, physicochemical properties, and targeting ability against pancreatic cancer cells. [Mol Pharm]

Concurrent Inhibition of NF-KappaB, Cyclooxygenase-2, and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Leads to Greater Anti-Tumor Activity in Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers hypothesized that the inhibition of NF-kappaB and COX-2 by 3,3′-Diindolylmethane concurrently with the inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor by erlotinib will potentiate the anti-tumor effects of cytotoxic drug gemcitabine, which has been tested both in vitro and in vivo. [J Cell Biochem]


Final Phase II Data of MESUPRON® Confirm Impressive Increase in Overall Survival of Patients with Pancreatic Cancer
The biopharmaceutical company WILEX AG announced that the clinical Phase II combination trial with the oral drug candidate MESUPRON® in pancreatic cancer patients has been completed successfully. [WILEX AG Press Release]

Abbott Receives FDA Approval for CREON® to Include Dosing Information for Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis and Pancreatectomy
Abbott announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the supplemental New Drug Application for CREON® (pancrelipase) Delayed-Release Capsules that now includes dosing guidance in the prescribing information specific to patients with limited production of enzymes in the pancreas (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy. [Abbott Laboratories Press Release]

OSI Pharmaceuticals Announces That Tarceva® Received Approval in the European Union for Maintenance Use in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that its international partner for Tarceva® (erlotinib), Roche, received approval from the European Commission for Tarceva as a monotherapy maintenance treatment in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease remains largely unchanged (stable disease) after platinum-based initial chemotherapy. [OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

Follow-up Safety Data Show AFREZZA™ Comparable to Standard Antidiabetic Therapy in Lung Function Tests
Pulmonary function test results (PFTs) in patients treated with AFREZZA™ [insulin human (rDNA origin)] Inhalation Powder, a well-tolerated, ultra rapid acting insulin, at follow-up measurements were similar to PFT results observed in patients receiving standard antidiabetic therapy, according to data presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 19th Annual Meeting. [MannKind Corporation Press Release]

The New York Stem Cell Foundation and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to Collaborate on Stem Cell Research
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The New York Stem Cell Foundation are establishing a collaborative program to advance the development and use of stem cells in therapies for a wide range of diseases. [The New York Stem Cell Foundation Press Release]

JDRF Partners with Living Cell Technologies to Test Encapsulated Cell Replacement Therapy For the Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) announced that it is partnering with Living Cell Technologies in a Phase II clinical trial to study the safety and effectiveness of transplanting encapsulated insulin-producing cells from pigs as a treatment for type 1 diabetes with significant hypoglycemia unawareness. [Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Press Release]

Scripps Research Institute Scientists in Florida Awarded $1.3 Million NIH Grant to Develop New Tests for Potential Obesity and Diabetes Treatment
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $1.3 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a series of tests at its Florida campus to help explore the potential of a protein that has emerged as a highly attractive target for the treatment of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. [The Scripps Research Institute Press Release]

CIRM Awards $28 Million to Answer Fundamental Questions in Stem Cell Biology
At a meeting at the City of Hope, the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state stem cell agency created by Proposition 71, approved funding $28 million to support 16 Basic Biology II Awards that answer fundamental questions about stem cell biology and one Leadership Award. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release]

Second AGA Foundation/Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation Research Scholar Award Presented
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition announced this year’s recipient of the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation Research Scholar Award – Kenneth P. Olive, PhD. The $225,000 gift from the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation will provide Dr. Olive with funding and protected time for three years to focus on basic science related to pancreatic cancer. [EurekAlert! Press Release]


FDA Deadline Affects Availability of Pancreatic Enzymes
Two pancreatic enzyme supplements commonly used by people with cystic fibrosis -Ultrase® and Pancrecarb®-have not yet received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, these products cannot be manufactured. [Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, United States]

Obama Staffing Health Care Reform Implementation Team
The Obama administration continues the critical process of hiring health care experts to help carry out and sell the policy it passed into law. [Obama Administration, United States]

Science Panel Cuts Authorization Levels for Three COMPETES Agencies
The House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee scaled back proposed funding levels for three key science agencies as part of its reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act. [The House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee, United States]

Health Ministry Picks More Than 100 Drugs for Priority Development List
A health ministry panel selected more than 100 drugs for a priority development list aimed at overcoming the substantial delay in approving new drugs in Japan. The priority list includes medications to treat pneumocystis pneumonia and pancreatic cancer as well as a meningococcal vaccine. [Ministry of Health, Japan]

Pancreatic Cancer: More of a Threat Than Car Accidents
The report, Pancreatic Cancer: One of Australia’s Most Lethal Diseases, quotes the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics which have documented 2244 new cases of pancreas cancer in Australia in 2006 and 2076 people dying of the disease in the same year. Pancreatic cancer is only the 12th most common cancer in Australia yet it is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths. [GI Cancer Institute, Australia]

Commission to Boost Research and Innovation by Making it Easier to Apply for and Manage European Union Grants
The European Commission has unveiled a plan to simplify the procedures for taking part in European Union-funded research projects. [European Research, Innovation and Science Commission, European Union]

Statement of NIH Director on Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Lines
National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced that 13 additional human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved for federal funding and added to the NIH Stem Cell Registry. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Final Opportunity to Attend a 2010 NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding & Grants Administration: Register Now for Portland, OR (June 24-25, 2010) (NOT-OD-10-092) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for: Centers of Research Translation (CORT) (P50) RFA-AR-11-002 (NOT-AR-10-035) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Predoctoral Fellows in PharmD/PhD Programs (F31) (PA-10-178) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Extension of Expiration Date for PA-07-277, PA-06-367, and PA-06-368: Research on Ethical Issues in Human Subjects Research (NOT-OD-10-086) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

List of Establishments Granted Approval for a Variance to 21CFR640.3(d) and 21CFR640.3(f) [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States]

May 7, 2010: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States]

Guidance for Industry: Requalification Method for Reentry of Blood Donors Deferred Because of Reactive Test Results for Antibody to Hepatitis B Core Antigen (Anti-HBc); Availability [Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0263] [ Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Emerging Infectious Diseases: Evaluation to Implementation for Transfusion and Transplantation Safety and Quantitative Risk Assessment: Blood Safety and Availability; Public Workshops [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0001] [ Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Considerations Regarding Food and Drug Administration Review and Regulation of Articles for the Treatment of Rare Diseases; Public Hearing [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0218] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]


Stem Cells, Tissue Homeostasis and Cancer Conference
May 12-15, 2010
Heidelberg, Germany

Mater Medical Research Institute (MMRI) Stem Cell Symposium 2010: Epigenetics, Transcriptomics and Nanobiotechnology of Stem Cells
May 20-21, 2010
Brisbane, Australia

16th Annual International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Meeting
May 23-26, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Systems Biology of Stem Cells
May 24-25, 2010
Irvine, United States

International Scientific Symposium: Stem Cells in Biology and Disease
May 26-28, 2010
Lisbon, Portugal

American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) 56th Annual Conference
May 27-29, 2010
Baltimore, United States

46th American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting
June 4-8, 2010
Chicago, United States

The First Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Scientific Symposium
June 14, 2010
Los Angeles, United States

42nd Meeting of the European Pancreatic Club (EPC)
June 16-19, 2010
Stockholm, Sweden

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States

70th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association
June 25-29, 2010
Orlando, United States

21st Meeting of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) 
June 26-29, 2010
Oslo, Norway

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Third Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

2010 World Cancer Congress
August 18-21, 2010
Shenzhen, China

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Meeting – Advancing the Life Sciences
September 4-7, 2010
Barcelona, Spain

The Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (AUGIS) 2010 Scientific Meeting 
September 9-10, 2010
Oxford, United Kingdom

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States 

Annual Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) World Congress
September 19-23, 2010
Sydney, Australia

35th European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress
October 8-12, 2010
Milan, Italy

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

2010 American Pancreatic Association (APA) Annual Meeting
November 3-6, 2010
Chicago, United States

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



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