Hi everyone; Lillian told me that someone had written in for info on bile
duct cancer and she told them I would respond after my vacation as I also
have this type. BUT, I don't have the e-mail that was sent...I must have
deleted it by mistake. If this person gets this message or if anyone else
has any info on them (or a copy of their e-mail) please let me know. This is
a very rare type of cancer and I feel terrible that this person has been
waiting for a response from me and I'm not able to find them. Please help
>From: "Lillian" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "Nancy J." <email@example.com>
>Subject: [MOL] Turning the tables on pancreatic tumors.....
>Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 21:42:46 -0700
> Lead Investigator: Daniel Von Hoff
> Turning the Tables on Pancreatic Tumors
> by Dan Ferber
> It's one of the deadliest cancers around and more than 100
>anticancer drugs have failed to stop it. But now, pancreatic cancer appears
>vulnerable, because new information about the genetics of cancer cells is
>leading researchers to create novel drug strategies, according to results
>presented April 2, at the 91st annual conference of the American
>Association of Cancer Research.
> Of the 29,800 people who are projected to develop pancreatic cancer
>in 2000 in the United States, all but about 800 will die of the disease,
>often just months after they're diagnosed. That makes the disease the
>single most lethal form of cancer, says Daniel Von Hoff, director of the
>Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson. Decades of drug-discovery effort and
>testing have yielded only one drug that has shown results for most
>patients, without any side effects such as allergic reactions. However, he
>says the effectiveness of that drug, 5-fluorouracil, has been debated.
> With pancreatic cancer, "the creed has been, 'let the patient pass
>away and hope the period of suffering is not too long," he says, adding:
>"There's a lot of people who don't want to believe this creed."
> To identify new drugs to treat pancreatic cancer, he says,
>researchers are trying to turn the tables on cancer cells, by taking
>advantage of their propensity to become genetically unstable and accumulate
>mutations. For example, cancer cells in patients treated with
>5-fluorouracil evolve to resist the drug by overexpressing its molecular
>target, an enzyme called thymidylate synthase (ST). So researchers have
>screened for and found a new agent that is activated by the enzyme, and
>will therefore target cancer cells preferentially.
> To test the new drug, Von Hoff and his colleagues used a screen
>called the human tumor-cloning assay, which allows them to identify those
>agents that kill pancreatic cancer cells cultured from pancreatic tumors
>that have been removed surgically. "The results were very impressive," Von
>Hoff says. The researchers are planning to test the drug, called NB1011, in
>a phase I clinical trial.
> To identify new drug targets, Von Hoff and other researchers are
>taking advantage of rapidly accumulating knowledge about the specific
>genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer cells. For example, 14% of
>pancreatic tumors are deficient in an enzyme called MLH1/MSH2 that fixes
>small mistakes during DNA replication.
> By creating a strain of yeast deficient for that enzyme and
>screening for drugs that kill it, the Arizona team identified a drug called
>MGI-114 that kills pancreatic cancer cells that are also deficient in that
>enzyme. The Arizona team has begun a clinical trial to test the safety of
>the compound in pancreatic cancer patients.
> The researchers also used similar yeast strains to identify the
>molecular target of a drug used to treat the disease for years, with
>unimpressive results. Cultured cancer cells and yeast cells with a
>defective DNA-copying enzyme are susceptible to gemcitibine, but cells with
>intact enzyme are not. This might explain why only 18 percent of pancreatic
>cancer patients respond to gemcitibine, Von Hoff says.
> Genetics can also identify entirely new and unexpected drug targets,
>Von Hoff says. Sometimes, mutations in cancer cells eliminate the function
>of a protein, and it is difficult to design a therapy to replace a missing
>protein. So researchers are using yeast to find unexpected new drug
>targets. For example, certain mutations weaken the ability of yeast to
>repair its DNA, but don't kill the cell. Those same mutations make cancer
>cells unstable. By screening for mutations that kill the mutant yeast but
>not normal yeast, researchers can spot new targets for anticancer drugs.
> With the exploding amount of genetic information about pancreatic
>tumors, Von Hoff is optimistic that new drugs can be developed to treat
>this deadly cancer. "The molecular genetic approach has given us
>substantial therapy leads," he says.
>We invite you to take a look at our Album.
> ( Very informational, good tips, Molers pictures, art work and much
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