New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
January 25, 2017
Curbing inflammation after radiation therapy slows pancreatic tumor growth in mice

Gregory L. Beatty, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Nadia’s Gift Foundation Innovator ’12-’15) and colleagues at the Abramson Cancer Center at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, reported high levels of inflammatory compounds in mice with pancreatic tumors. These included CCL2, a signaling molecule that promotes recruitment of inflammatory white blood cells by tumors. This likely contributes to the protective tumor microenvironment that makes most pancreatic tumors resistant to treatment. CCL2 levels increased further after the mice received radiotherapy. However, treatment with chemo and a CCL2-blocking antibody resulted in dramatically slower tumor growth and reduced recruitment of inflammatory cell types. These treated mice survived roughly 25% longer than those that received radiation alone. The results were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.