"We don't know how abemaciclib would work in pancreatic cancer and how its effects might be improved by combining it with other drugs," says senior study author Jonathan Brody, PhD, professor and director of research in the department of surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, co-leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at SKCC.
To study how the drug works, the researchers assessed the effects of abemaciclib in cell lines derived from pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. They found that the drug caused cell death and stopped cell growth. These effects translated into decreased tumor growth in mice that received the drug compared to those that received control saline injections. Abemaciclib targets enzymes that regulate cell division. However, these enzymes only work if they are paired with another group of enzymes.
Groups - Enzymes - Abemaciclib - Drug - Effects
"We proposed that targeting both groups of enzymes by pairing abemaciclib with another drug might yield synergistic anti-cancer effects," explains Christopher Schultz, PhD candidate at Thomas Jefferson University, who along with Dr. Teena Dhir, a surgical resident at Einstein Medical Center, were the co-lead authors of the study. In fact, current standard of care for pancreatic care often uses several chemotherapeutics in combination with each other. The team screened for possible therapeutic candidates to use in tandem with abemaciclib and found that inhibitors of two proteins called HuR and YAP1, showed synergistic inhibition of cancer growth. They confirmed this by treating cells with either abemaciclib alone or abemaciclib plus other potential anti-cancer agents, an HuR or YAP1 inhibitor, and found that the combination treatment was...
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