Targeting pancreatic cancer using a combination of gemcitabine with the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid emulsion, Lipidem™
journal contributionposted on 02.11.2015, 16:21 by Lynne M. Howells, Jonathan Haqq, Giuseppe Garcea, Ashley R. Dennison
Scope Pancreatic cancer remains a disease of poor prognosis, with alternate strategies being sought to improve therapeutic efficacy. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown clinical benefit, and mechanisms of action are under investigation. Methods and results Proliferation assays, flow cytometry, invasion assays, ELISA and western blotting were used to investigate efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids alone and in combination with gemcitabine. The docosahexanoic acid (DHA)/eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) combination, Lipidem™, in combination with gemcitabine inhibited growth in pancreatic cancer and pancreatic stellate cell (PSC) lines, with PSCs exhibiting greatest sensitivity to this combination. Invasion of pancreatic cancer cells and PSCs in a 3D spheroid model, was inhibited by combination of gemcitabine with Lipidem™. PSCs were required for cancer cell invasion in an organotypic co-culture model, with invasive capacity reduced by Lipidem™ alone. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a key cytokine in pro-proliferative and invasion signalling, and thus a critical regulator of interactions between pancreatic cancer cells and adjacent stroma. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) secretion was completely inhibited by the combination of Lipidem™ with gemcitabine in cancer cells and PSCs. Conclusion Lipidem™ in combination with gemcitabine, has anti-proliferative and anti-invasive efficacy in vitro, with pancreatic stellate cells exhibiting the greatest sensitivity to this combination.