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Very promising results in research against pancreatic cancer have been unveiled and have identified a treatment that would prove to be effective. Good news, the latter already exists (but is used to treat heart disease)!

Pancreatic cancer affects approximately 16,000 French people each year, most of whom are over 50 years old. Often diagnosed late, when the tumor has spread outside the pancreas, this cancer is particularly lethal. But the results of a new study published last May on iScience could well change the situation.

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In fact, tests have shown that thecombined use of perhexiline and chemotherapy would cure pancreatic cancer. Perhexiline is a drug used primarily in Australia and New Zealand to treat angina pectoris caused by coronary heart disease.

Perhexiline: cancer cells are particularly sensitive to it

The researchers started from the observation that the mitochondria are essential for tumor cells. Thus in 2020, they have already shown that the neutralization of energy molecules (ATP) produced by mitochondria increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy on pancreatic cancer cells. In this new study, the goal was to inhibit the production of fatty acids by the mitochondria. This is thanks to perhexiline, to which pancreatic cancer cells are particularly sensitive.

In preclinical trials, the combined administration of perhexiline and chemotherapy has totally eliminated the pancreatic tumor in xenograft mice (transplantation of a graft from a biological species different from that of the recipient). The hypothesis is that the combination of the two treatments causes energy and oxidative stress favoring the elimination of cancer cells. However, further research to understand this phenomenon is needed. At the same time, other avenues are being explored, including a vaccine to prevent recurrences.

An explosion of pancreatic cancer cases

Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare (about 3% of cancers) but its incidence rate has almost tripled in 20 years. And according to the latest estimates, it will be the second leading cause of cancer death. in Europe by 2040.

Among the known risk factors, smoking would be responsible for 20 to 30% of cases. The Western way of life is also singled out: physical inactivity and bad eating habits (junk food, processed foods). These increase the risk of overweight (BMI greater than 25) andobesity (BMI greater than 30), risk factors for pancreatic cancer. In addition, the consumption of certain foods should be avoided to take care of your pancreas: you must limit fat and the high glycemic index (GI) foods.

Source : Combining the antianginal drug perhexiline with chemotherapy induces complete pancreatic cancer regression liveiScience

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