MECOM permits pancreatic acinar cell dedifferentiation avoiding cell death under stress conditions (accepted for publication in Cell Death and Differentiation)
In a study involving mice that published online on November 5 in the Journal For ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Claudia Gravekamp, Ph.D., and Ilse Rooman, Ph.D., show that combining nicotinamide (the active form of niacin) with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine thinned out the pancreatic cancer’s barrier, improved the influx of T cells into the tumors, bolstered the immune response, and activated CD4 T cells—all of which helped shrink pancreatic tumors and their metastases and improved the survival rate of mice. The findings could lead to clinical trials that investigate the effects of this nicotinamide/gemcitabine combination in pancreatic cancer patients.
Elyne Backx , a PhD student in the lab, was selected for presenting her work at the Pancreatic Cancer Symposium in Toulouse. Elyne uses human pancreas cells to study events that can be at the origin of pancreatic cancer.