|The Future of Medicine Through Bioengineering - Ayden Jacob|
Pancreatic cancer is an arena of oncology which begs for innovation because of its poor prognosis. Researchers from the University of Manchester have discovered a novel way to turn off the energy supply in pancreatic cancer cells. Unique to pancreatic cancer cells is their ability to utilize calcium pumps on the surface of their cells to provide energy for themselves. Most cells utilize glycolysis and the mitochondria to maintain their energy levels; however, pancreatic cancer cells favor a glycolytic pathway to supply ATP to drive the calcium pumps. Hence, by blocking the glycolytic pathway in human pancreatic cancer cells, researchers were successful in causing the cells to die due to the tolerable calcium levels caused by an ineffective calcium pump. Dr. Jason Bruce shared that we may be able to design new drugs to cut off the supply of calcium pumps to these cells, and thereby kill the cancer cells while saving the normal cells within the pancreas.