The current issue of the journal Cancer Research describes howcollaborators created the first animal model for studyingtreatment of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in people, withessentially no effective treatment.

"For the first time, we have an animal model for pancreaticcancer in which we can design therapeutics to attack both theprimary and metastatic tumors which may require differentdrugs," said Tetsuro Kubota, head of a Keio University clinicalteam that collaborated with AntiCancer Inc. of San Diego on themouse model. "We are now, for the first time, in a position tolook for truly effective treatment for pancreatic cancer," Kubotasaid.

The collaborators transplanted human pancreatic tumor tissueinto the pancreas of special immunodeficient mice that wouldnot reject the tissue, instead letting the cancer grow and spreadas it does in people.

In individual transplanted mice, it was found that the primaryand metastatic human pancreatic tumors could have differentsensitivities to drugs; this is believed to mimic the situation forhuman pancreatic cancer patients. -- Nancy Garcia

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