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Pancreatic cancer


Mouse studies identified a water-soluble triptolide analog that could help treat pancreatic cancer. Triptolide is a plant-derived compound with anticancer effects that has limited clinical utility due to its poor water solubility. In mouse xenograft models of pancreatic cancer, oral treatment with the water-soluble triptolide analog, dubbed Minnelide, decreased tumor volumes and increased survival with an effect comparable to that of triptolide. In a mouse xenograft model of pancreatic cancer, Minnelide decreased tumor burden compared with Gemzar gemcitabine. Next steps include starting a Phase I trial to evaluate the Minnelide in pancreatic cancer.
Eli Lilly and Co. markets the nucleoside analog Gemzar to treat pancreatic and other cancers.

SciBX 5(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1136
Published online Nov. 1, 2012

Patent application filed; licensed to Minneamrita Therapeutics LLC

Chugh, R. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Oct. 17, 2012;
Contact: Ashok K. Saluja, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.