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In Pancreatic Cancer, New Biomarker May Predict Benefit of Tumor-Penetrating Peptide

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Hunkered behind a dense layer of fibrotic tissue, pancreatic tumors stubbornly resist the delivery of therapeutic molecules. Yet this barrier, this desmoplastic tumor tissue, can be penetrated by iRGD, a nine-amino-acid cyclic peptide.

In experiments with models of pancreatic cancer, specifically, mouse models and organoids, iRGD was found to penetrate tumors via a molecular pathway mediated by β5 integrin, a protein that is produced by carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). This newfound role for β5 integrin suggests that the protein may serve as a useful biomarker, one that could indicate which patients will respond best to therapies that combine iRGD and chemotherapeutic agents. Read more . . . 

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