The Marvel of Israeli Innovation: Study Finds Molecule Triggers Self-Destruction of Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Published in @OncotargetJrnl, the administration of the molecule reduced the no. of cancer cells in developed tumors by up to 90% in 30 days.

Israeli scientists say a new study has shown that a small molecule called PJ34 triggered the self-destruction of human pancreatic cancer cells in mice.

According to the research, published in the peer-reviewed open-access biomedical journal Oncotarget, the administration of the molecule reduced the number of cancer cells in developed tumors by up to 90 percent in 30 days.

“In research published in 2017, we discovered a mechanism that causes the self-destruction of human cancer cells during their duplication (mitosis) without affecting normal cells,” explained Professor Cohen-Armon in a statement by the university this week. “We have now harnessed this information to efficiently eradicate human pancreatic cancer cells in xenografts. The current results were obtained using a small molecule that evokes this self-destruction mechanism in a variety of human cancer cells.

“The mice were treated with a molecule called PJ34, which is permeable in the cell membrane but affects human cancer cells exclusively. This molecule causes an anomaly during the duplication of human cancer cells, provoking their rapid cell death. Thus, cell multiplication itself resulted in cell death in the treated cancer cells,” she added.

According to the findings, only the group treated daily with PJ34 (five times a week) showed a significant reduction of about 40 percent in tumor size but both treatment regimens caused a reduction of between 80-90 percent in cancer cells a month after treatment was terminated.

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose as often there are no symptoms in the early stages. It is also often resistant to currently available treatments and in its more advanced stages (metastatic), has a five-year-survival rate of three percent.

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