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Increased Glucose Availability Sensitizes Pancreatic Cancer to Chemotherapy

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Pancreatic cancer (Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma; PDAC) is highly resistant to chemotherapy. Effective alternative therapies have yet to emerge, leaving chemotherapy as the best available systematic treatment. The discovery of safe and available adjuncts that improve chemotherapeutic efficacy would potentially improve survival outcomes. We show that a hyperglycemic state enhances the efficacy of conventional single- and multi-agent chemotherapies against PDAC.

Molecular analyses of tumors exposed to relatively high glucose levels revealed that a key metabolic pathway, glutathione biosynthesis, is diminished and underlies chemo-sensitization by enhancing oxidative injury to cancer cells. Inhibition of this pathway under normal conditions phenocopied a hyperglycemic state by enhancing chemotherapeutic efficacy in mouse PDAC, while rescuing the pathway under high glucose abrogated the anti-tumor effects observed with chemotherapy. Read more . . . 

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