Jan 2015 Oncoscience

Targeting CD44 as a novel therapeutic approach for treating pancreatic cancer recurrence.


Molejon MI, Tellechea JI, Moutardier V, Gasmi M, Ouaissi M, Turrini O, Delpero JR, Dusetti N, Iovanna J


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an extraordinarily lethal disease, which, despite a more or less efficient chemotherapeutic treatment, systematically displays a rapid and uncontrolled progression towards a fatal recurrence. Determining which cells give rise to such tumor recurrence is thus crucial before an improved therapeutics outcome can be envisaged for patients with PDAC. In this regard, we recently reported that following a standard chemotherapy for PDAC, a heterogeneous subpopulation of CD44+ cells proliferates and is responsible for tumor recurrence, as shown by almost all recurrent tumor cells becoming CD44+. We designed a strategy to eliminate these cells based on a weekly administration of an anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody to human PDAC-derived xenografts in mice. We demonstrate that xenografts, which were unresponsive to gemcitabine treatment, are however sensitive to this strategy. In conclusion, CD44 represents an efficient therapeutic target in patients with recurrent PDAC.

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