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Oncotarget. 2019 Oct 22;10(58):6269-6282. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27268. eCollection 2019 Oct 22.

The phenanthrene derivative PJ34 exclusively eradicates human pancreatic cancer cells in xenografts.

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Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel.
Oncology Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan 53621, Israel.
Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel.


Recent reports demonstrate an exclusive eradication of a variety of human cancer cells by the modified phenanthridine PJ34. Their eradication during mitosis is attributed to PJ34 preventing NuMA clustering in the mitotic spindle poles of human malignant cells, which is crucial for their normal mitosis. Here, the effect of PJ34 is tested in cell cultures and xenografts of human pancreas ductal adenocarcinoma. Evidence is presented for a substantial reduction (80-90%) of PANC1 cancer cells in xenografts, measured 30 days after the treatment with PJ34 has been terminated. Benign cells infiltrated into the PANC1 tumors (stroma) were not affected. Growth, weight gain and behavior of the treated nude mice were not impaired during, and 30 days after the treatment with PJ34. The efficient eradication of malignant cells in human pancreas cancer xenografts presents a new model of pancreas cancer treatment.


PANC1 cancer xenografts; PJ34; pancreas cancer; stroma

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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