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Calcium Channel Blockers Potentiate Gemcitabine Chemotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer

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Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death, in part due to incomplete responses to standard-of-care chemotherapy. In this study, using a combination of single-cell RNA sequencing and high-throughput proteomics, we identified the calcium-responsive protein calmodulin as a key mediator of resistance to the first-line chemotherapy agent gemcitabine.

Inhibition of calmodulin led to the loss of gemcitabine resistance in vitro, which was recapitulated using a calcium chelator or Food and Drug Administration–approved calcium channel blockers (CCBs), including amlodipine. In animal studies, amlodipine markedly enhanced therapeutic responses to gemcitabine chemotherapy, reducing the incidence of distant metastases and extending survival. Hence, incorporating CCBs may provide a safe and effective means of improving responses to gemcitabine-based chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients. Read more . . . 

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