Friday, January 12, 2007

The Importance of Collaboration.

I have just received an email from Dr. Terri Brentall that she will be a collaborator for my doctoral thesis regarding the involvement of nucleoside transporters in Gemcitibine treatment of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Brentnall has been a featured scientist in the media for the recent confirmation that her teams have found one genetic link to inheritable pancreatic cancer, a mutation that can be screened in cases of familial pancreatic cancer history.

The position I am in will be to have access to her human pancreatic tissue samples and RNA/DNA samples whereby I would like to investigate the proposed link between the expression level of human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT-1) and the effectiveness of Gemcitibine treatment.

Gemcitibine is currently a front-line treatment for Pancreatic Cancer and it is hypothesized that the more hENT-1 that is expressed the more Gemcitibine will have access into the cell, a necessary phenomenon for successful cancer-killing, and thus extension of survival. The issue could be that pancreatic cancer cells have a lower expression of these transporters for some patients, which serves as a built-in mechanism of defense for the cancer to survive in th face of treatment.

If it can be showed before a person begins treatment that they have less of this transporter, and therefore less chance of Gemcitabine being effective, then maybe the person can immediately have alternate treatments scheduled instead of wasting precious time with an ineffective drug.

A few references:

"Transcription Analysis of Human Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter-1 Predicts Survival in Pancreas Cancer Patients Treated with Gemcitabine."
Giovannetti, et al, Cancer Res; 66: (7). April 1, 2006

"Functional Nucleoside Transporters Are Required for Gemcitabine Influx and Manifestation of Toxicity in Cancer Cell Lines."
Mackey, et al, Cancer Res; 58: pg 4349-4357. October 1, 1998

"The Absence of Human Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter-1 is Associated with Reduced Survival in Patients with Gemcitabine-Treated Pancreas Adenocarcinoma."
Spratlin, et al, Clin. Cancer Res; 10: pg 6956-6961. October 15, 2004


the girl said...

The boy is on a roll! Graduation in 2 years with stellar paper in hand, keys to job offers everywhere, on our way to tour the globe... GREAT NEWS!!!! I'm so happy it worked out, so happy things are moving forward. You're going to make it yet!!!

rod said...

A friend was recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. It was first thought he had the highly fatal form, but on a 2nd opinion, found he had an operable strain that seems to be classed as 'recoverable'. He goes under the knife this Friday, the 9th. In the Orient, 9 is a longevity number. Mossy, may your work encourage longevity in those unknown to you.... H-R