Scientists have found a way to block the development of pancreatic cancer. Tumors are deprived of their vital source – uridine |

18 May 2023, 13:22 (updated 18 May 2023, 13:46) TVR News |

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The Institute of Cancer Research in London has discovered that pancreatic tumors can ‘switch their diet’ and feed on a chemical when they run out of sugar.

The researchers suggest that developing drugs to starve tumors by depriving them of their vital fuel source – uridine – could improve treatment and increase survival rates.

Pancreatic cancer has the highest death rate in England, killing nine out of 10 patients in a five-year period.

In experiments on mice, the scientists discovered that blocking a gene called UPP1 could prevent pancreatic tumors from converting uridine into energy.

The British institute found the procedure “largely halted tumor growth” in animals and hopes the same tactic will work in humans.

Professor Kristian Helin, Head of the Institute of Cancer Research, said: “People with pancreatic cancer often face a bleak prognosis, so new advances are urgently needed to help treat this aggressive disease.

“It is exciting that this new study has found that pancreatic cancers can change their diet and become dependent on a particular reserve fuel.”

“We hope we can take advantage of this to find ways to treat the disease more effectively.”

Uridine is created naturally in the body and its function is to carry genetic information and maintain healthy metabolism and brain function.

Scientists previously found that cancer patients had a low chance of survival if they had high amounts of the enzyme UPP1, which breaks down uridine into sugar.

Study co-leader Dr. Costas Lyssiotis, of the University of Michigan, added: “These very exciting findings open up new avenues for treating a type of cancer that currently has no effective treatment options.

“We show that pancreatic cancer cells can become dependent on uridine for their growth and survival.”

Dr Chris Macdonald, Head of Research at Pancreatic Cancer UK: “This discovery is extremely novel, with the potential for a big impact and is really exciting. “We are very confident that these findings could lead to new and improved treatments for pancreatic cancer in the future.”



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2023-05-18 10:22:00

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