American scientists in the course of research have discovered a unique molecule capable of suppressing the growth and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. It was named MMRi62. The results of the experiments are published in the publication Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
The uniqueness of MMRi62 is that it not only kills cancer cells and harmful proteins that provoke the formation of metastases, but is also capable of iron metabolism. The researchers are confident that further study and improvement of this compound may lead to the emergence of a new therapy against pancreatic cancer.
“MMRI62 causes degradation of an iron-storing protein called FTH1, as well as a protein that has mutated into PDAC, which leads to cell death caused by free cellular iron,” Xinjiang Wang, associate professor of Pharmacology and Therapy at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, commented on the results of the study.
The process of cancer cell death described by the expert is called ferroptosis. To date, much attention has been paid to it in the field of medical research, since pancreatic cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and overly aggressive. According to the statistics of the specialists of the Roswell Park Center, less than a third of patients (12%) with this disease live longer than five years.
“We have shown that in a preclinical model, MMRi62 is able to provoke ferroptosis in pancreatic cancer cells carrying KRAS or TP53 mutations. This, in turn, stops the growth of the tumor and prevents the appearance of metastases in other organs,” Dr. Wang concluded.