A new treatment developed by Tel Aviv University (TAU) could induce the destruction of pancreatic cancer cells, eradicating the number of cancerous cells by up to 90% after two weeks of daily injections of a small molecule known as PJ34.
The study, led by Prof. Malka Cohen-Armon and her team at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with Dr. Talia Golan’s team at the Cancer Research Center at Sheba Medical Center, was recently published in the journal Oncotarget.
The research was conducted with xenografts, transplantation of human pancreatic cancer into immunocompromised mice.
A month after being injected with the molecule daily for 14 days, “there was a reduction of 90% of pancreatic cells in the tumour,” Dr Golan told the Jerusalem Post. She said: “In one mouse, the tumour completely disappeared.
She added: “This 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”.
Dr Golan estimates it will take at least two years to move from mice trials to human trials. First, she said, the group will test the treatment on pigs and then apply for permission from the FDA to administer humans with this molecule.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest cancers to treat. Most people who are diagnosed with the disease do not even live five years after being diagnosed.