A study out of Tel Aviv University reveals the possibility of destroying pancreatic cancer cells in just 14 days. The study was recently published in the journal Oncotarget.
The research team used xenografts, of the transplantation of human pancreatic cancer into mice, in order to conduct the study. Over the next 14 days, they introduced a small molecule called PJ34 into the mice intravenously.
One month after being treated with PJ34, the pancreatic tumor cells reduced by 90%. One mouse had a complete disappearance of the tumor.
According to the study’s leader, Dr. Malka Cohen-Armon, “The molecule causes an anomaly during mitosis of human cancer cells, provoking rapid cell death. Thus, cell multiplication itself resulted in cell death in the treated cancer cells.”
The good news is that the PJ34 molecule did not appear to have any effects on normal cells. The mice continued to grow normally.
This study gives good news to those battling pancreatic cancer, one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Typically, those diagnosed with the disease don’t make it 5 years.
Cohen-Armon had also studied PJ34 in 2017 with triple-negative breast cancer. Similar to pancreatic cancer, it’s not easy to treat and women usually don’t survive more than 5 years after diagnosis.
The team did not specifically look at whether the molecule would prolong patients’ lives, but it can be assumed that the elimination of cancer cells would extend survival time.
The hope will be to perform the study in human patients through clinical trials.
Cohen-Armon states it will be at least two years before those begin, assuming they get enough funding for the project.
The next step will be performing the study on pigs, and then the team will apply for FDA-approval to treat humans with the molecule.