New Study: Rapamycin Increases Pancreatic Tumor Cell Death and Decreased the Growth of Tumors

Potential new therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer discovered

The team then administered the drug rapamycin — an mTOR inhibitor — to mice with established pancreatic tumors, finding that rapamycin increased tumor cell death and decreased the growth of tumors with reduced G alpha 13 expression.

The findings establish a previously unrecognized tumor-suppressive role of Galpha13 in pancreatic cancer and suggests that targeting the mTOR signaling pathway in human pancreatic tumors with decreased expression may be efficacious.


They also showed that human and mice pancreatic tumors with reduced G alpha 13 exhibited increased mTOR signaling, and targeting the mTOR signaling pathway reduced tumor growth in the mice.

“We believe that pancreatic cancer patients whose tumors have a reduced expression of G alpha 13 might benefit from therapies targeting the mTOR signaling pathway,” said Mario A. Shields, ’12 PhD, research assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology and lead author of the study.

While most patients with pancreatic cancer have historically responded poorly to targeted therapies, including rapamycin, the current findings may help better identify pancreatic cancer patients who could benefit from therapies targeting the mTOR signaling pathway.



Pancreatic cancer treaments have some of the poorest success rates of all cancer treatments, so it’s great to see this research. Also good to see research on mTor as a key to disease.

Diabetes (any type) doubles the risk of pancreatic cancer.

…persons with type 1 diabetes were at a twofold increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with persons without diabetes

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