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Novel therapies show promise in treating cancer and diabetes

OCTOBER 25, 2017
Clinical Congress Daily Highlights, Wednesday Second Edition

A number of novel approaches such as allogeneic antibody therapy, stem cells, and combination therapy are being tested in diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Four early-stage studies illustrate the promise of some of these therapies:

“Naturally-Occurring IgG Antibodies for the Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma,” led by Hee-Jin Jang, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, found that allogeneic antibody therapy produces significant anti-tumor activity against malignant pleural mesothelioma in mice and activates human dendritic cells in vitro. This strategy has potential as a novel immunotherapeutic approach in mesothelioma, the paper’s authors conclude, and should be given consideration as the basis of an early-phase clinical trial.

“MnT4MPyP Enhances Ascorbate-Induced Radiosensitization in Pancreatic Cancer (PDAC),” led by Matthew S. Alexander, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, found that combination treatment using pharmacologic ascorbate (P-AscH-) and the manganoporphyrin MnT4MPyP resulted in significant H2O2 flux and increased cytotoxicity of ionizing radiation in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The researchers employed a three-dimensional cell culture technique using luciferized human pancreatic cancer cells suspended in a spherical cell culture matrix.They conclude that this multimodal approach has the potential to be an effective treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“Generation of Insulin Producing β-cells From Adipose Derived Stem Cells,” led by Ashley N. Leberfinger, MD, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, found that adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) may have the potential to treat type 1 diabetes by generating replacement β-cells in pancreatic islets in vitro. Documenting multistage progression of ADSCs converted to a β-cell phenotype, the researchers showed that the differentiated cells secreted insulin in response to extracellular glucose. They conclude that this work may offer a platform for autologous β-cell replacement in type 1 diabetes.

“Blockade of REG Proteins’ Receptor EXTL3 Sensitizes Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Gemcitabine in a Mouse Orthotopic Model,” led by Kaylene Barrera, MD, State University of New York Downstate, Brooklyn, NY, found that blocking EXTL3 appears to reduce gemcitabine resistance in mice implanted with pancreatic cancers. The intent is to make gemcitabine, which has limited benefits due to chemoresistance, more effective in treatment of pancreatic cancers.

Additional Information:
The Scientific Forums were held at the 2017 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in San Diego, CA. Program, webcast and audio information is available online at

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