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Blood pressure drugs could help halt pancreatic cancer spread, Jefferson researchers find

presents her results December 5, 2006 at the Southern Surgical Association meeting in Palm Beach, FL.

"High VEGF levels correspond with lymph node metastasis and worse prognosis in many cancers," Dr. Arafat says. "High levels of angiotensin II might mean high levels of VEGF and pancreatic cancer. We have a treatment to block it."

"We are continuing to analyze how angiotensin affects VEGF, and the signaling pathways involved," she says. Her team is looking at the effect of angiotensin on cell proliferation and programmed cell death, and would like to develop an animal model.

"Patients have chemotherapy and radiation sometimes before surgery," she says. "I would imagine this would be useful either for unresectable tumors or after surgical removal of the pancreatic cancer. It might be used in maintenance."

"These are well tested, safe drugs," Dr. Arafat notes, "so the translation of our work from the animal model to the clinical trial can be fast. This is very promising." Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with some 32,000 deaths a year. Only five percent of patients live at least one year after diagnosis.


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Contact: Steve Benowitz
steven.benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
7-Dec-2006


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