2011 Seed Grant Recipient Ido Wolf, MD from University of Tel Aviv, Israel, recently published his findings that will offer novel approaches towards development of new therapies for pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Wolf, Head of Oncology Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center has been investigating the role of klotho in pancreatic cancer. Klotho is a potent aging suppressor protein. Mice and humans lacking klotho suffer from early aging, while overexpressing of klotho extends lifespan. He and his colleagues identified klotho as a novel tumor suppressor in pancreatic cancer. Klotho expression is reduced in pancreatic cancer compared to normal pancreatic tissue and treatment with klotho inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Dr. Wolf and his colleagues study the role of klotho in the development of pancreatic cancer and discover mechanisms that mediate its activities by inhibiting insulin like growth hormone (IGF-1) fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signals in pancreatic cancer. They are now expanding their research work on how klotho regulates pancreatic tumor metabolism. Since klotho is an endogenous hormone, its administration is potentially feasible. Their discoveries may identify new therapeutic targets and aid in the development of novel therapies for pancreatic cancer.