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J Transl Med. 2012 Aug 8;10:161. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-10-161.

Molecular evidence for increased antitumor activity of gemcitabine in combination with a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, P276-00 in pancreatic cancers.

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  • 1Oncology Franchise, Piramal Life Sciences Ltd, Mumbai, India.



P276-00 is a novel cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor currently in Phase II clinical trials. Gemcitabine is a standard of care for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The present study investigated the effect of the combination of P276-00 and gemcitabine in five pancreatic cancer cell lines.


Cytotoxic activity was evaluated by Propidium Iodide assay. Cell cycle and apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry. Genes and proteins known to inhibit apoptosis and contribute to chemoresistance were analysed using western blot analysis and RT-PCR. In vivo efficacy was studied in PANC-1 xenograft model.


The combination of gemcitabine followed by P276-00 was found to be highly to weakly synergistic in various pancreatic cancer cell lines as assessed by the combination index. Enhancement of apoptosis in PANC-1 cells and decrease in the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and survivin was seen. P276-00 potentiated the gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity by modulation of proteins involved in chemoresistance to gemcitabine and cell cycle viz. antiapoptotic proteins p8 and cox-2, proapoptotic protein BNIP3 and cell cycle related proteins Cdk4 and cyclin D1. The above results could explain the novel mechanisms of action of the combination therapy. We also show here that gemcitabine in combination with P276-00 is much more effective as an antitumor agent compared with either agent alone in the PANC-1 xenograft tumor model in SCID mice.


The chemosensitzation of pancreatic tumors to gemcitabine would likely be an important and novel strategy for treatment of pancreatic cancer and enable the use of lower and safer concentrations, to pave the way for a more effective treatment in this devastating disease. Phase IIb clinical trials of P276-00 in combination with gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer patients are ongoing.

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