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Lab Reports
January 3, 2017

Pancreatic Cancer Blocked From Invading Nearby Nerves

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(1):17. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19837

Blocking chemical signals between pancreatic cancer cells and neurons may reduce the cancer cells’ ability to invade surrounding nerves, according to a PLOS ONEstudy. Such perineural invasion may contribute to the high recurrence rate following removal of a pancreatic tumor.

Through in vitro culture assays, researchers at the nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix found that knocking down expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) or 2 NGF receptors, tropomyosin-receptor kinase A (TRKA) and p75 neurotrophin receptor, reduced the proliferation and invasive potential of pancreatic cancer cells. Treating the cancer cells with GW441756, a TRKA kinase inhibitor, produced a similar effect.