Marie-France Penet1, Paul T. Winnard Jr. 1, Flonn Wildes1, Yelena Mironchik1, Tariq Shah1, Anirban Maitra2, Zaver M. Bhujwalla3
1JHU ICMIC Program Division of Cancer Imaging Research The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Departments of Pathology and Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 3JHU ICMIC Program Division of Cancer Imaging Research The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive and lethal neoplasm that often induces cachexia and is typically detected at an advanced stage. Better understanding of the disease, early detection, and new therapeutic targets are urgently needed. Using mouse xenograft models, we have investigated the metabolism of multiple pancreatic tumors, and their effect on body weight. High total choline was observed in tumors that induced significant weight loss in tumor-bearing mice. To understand the interactions between the tumor and normal tissue, we are developing a cell-based optical biosensor using genetically engineered myoblasts to detect the early onset of cachexia-inducing signals.