Potential 14-day Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Discovered
A team of Israeli scientists in December 2019 announced it had discovered a new treatment that reduces pancreatic cancer cells in mice by up to 90%.
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is fewer than 5 years, and current options for treatment require chemotherapy, which stops cell division in the whole body. This affects the whole body as there is no discriminatory targeting – causing, for example, hair loss, poor blood cell production and digestive tract complications.
The team, led by Professor Malka Cohen-Armonat at Tel Aviv University, and using PJ34, a molecule developed for stroke patients, saw results after only 14 days. Once mice were implanted with human pancreatic cancer the results were visible within a fortnight.
PJ34 triggers an anomaly in that cancer cells essentially self-destruct, which aids in controlling the tumour and stops further duplication. After a month of injections, infected mice saw an 80-90% reduction in cancerous cells and, importantly, no impact on healthy cells. This would negate the need for chemotherapy and could prove to be of widespread benefit as the researchers have also tested this on other forms of cancer including breast, lung, brain and ovarian cancer.
Professor Cohen-Armonat sees human trials in a couple of years and a significant improvement in patients’ lives and an increase in human lifespan with this potential treatment.