The American Physiological Society Press Release

press release logo

APS Contact: APS Communications Office

Email: communications@the-aps.org

Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @APSPhysiology

Blocking Digestive Hormone May Prevent Diet-Induced Pancreatic Cancer

Cholecystokinin pathways influence cancer progression and spread

Rockville, Md. (August 2, 2018)—A high-fat diet may promote the growth of pancreatic cancer independent of obesity because of the interaction between dietary fat and cholecystokinin (CCK), a digestive hormone. In addition, blocking CCK may help prevent the spread of pancreatic tumors to other areas of the body (metastases). The new findings are published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. The research was chosen as an APSselect article for August.

CCK is released by the small intestine and is associated with obesity. Dietary fat triggers the secretion of CCK; those who follow a diet high in saturated fats often have high levels of CCK. Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. CCK also regulates regeneration that takes place after partial surgical removal of the pancreas. Pancreatic growth and regeneration occurs through interaction of CCK with CCK receptors, proteins that bind to CCK to produce a physiological reaction.

Researchers from Georgetown University conducted separate mouse studies involving the interactions between dietary fat, CCK and pancreatic cancer cell growth. In all studies, half the mice were fed a high-fat diet and the other half followed a normal diet.

  • In the first study, half of the animals were treated with proglumide, a medication that blocks CCK.
  • In a second study, the mice had tumors lacking CCK.
  • In a third study, the mice were deficient in CCK and had pancreatic tumors.

The researchers found that mice treated with proglumide had less tumor growth than the untreated mice, even when fed a high-fat diet. The mice lacking CCK also did not respond to a high-fat diet. These results suggest that CCK is needed to stimulate the growth of pancreatic cancer. The high-fat–fed mice lacking CCK receptors did not show any tumor growth, suggesting that without receptors to bind to, increased CCK from dietary fat is unable to promote cancer.

Proglumide treatment also protected the mice from the development of excessive fibrous tissue (fibrosis) that can be associated with cancer metastases and resistance to chemotherapy.

“Most patients with advanced pancreatic cancer succumb to the disease due to metastases; therefore a compound that blocks metastases, even when the primary tumor size is large, may have clinical significance,” the researchers wrote. “CCK [receptor] blockade may play a role in the treatment and prevention of pancreatic cancer.”

Read the full article, “Dietary fat stimulates pancreatic cancer growth and promotes fibrosis of the tumor microenvironment through the cholecystokinin receptor,” published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

 


RelatedItems

Taking the Fight Against Cancer to Heart

Released February 26, 2008 - Hormones produced by the heart eliminated human pancreatic cancer in more than three-quarters of the mice treated with the hormones and eliminated human breast cancer in two-thirds of the mice, according to a new study.

Aspirin Slows Spread of Colon, Pancreatic Cancer in Tumor Cells

Released December 14, 2016 - Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University have found that aspirin may slow the spread of some types of colon and pancreatic cancer cells. The paper is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology.

New Study Finds Anticipating A Laugh Reduces Stress Hormones

Released April 7, 2008 - Researchers have found that the anticipation of a positive humorous laughter experience also reduces potentially detrimental stress hormones.

Response to Repetitive Laughter Similar to Effect of Repetitive Exercise

Released April 26, 2010 -- Since the 1980s, California researchers have been studying the human body’s response to mirthful laughter and have found that laughter helps optimize many of the functions of various body systems. They are the first to establish that laughter helps optimize the hormones in the endocrine system, which leads to stress reduction. They have also shown that laughter has a positive effect on modulating components of the immune system, including increased production of antibodies and activation of the body’s protective cells, including T-cells and especially Natural Killer cells’ killing activity of tumor cells.

From: 
Email:  
To: 
Email:  
Subject: 
Message:

~/Custom.Templates/PressRelease.aspx