Fueling Hope: Vitamin B6’s Impact on Pancreatic Cancer Survival

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
Fueling Hope: Vitamin B6’s Impact on Pancreatic Cancer Survival

Vitamin B6 offers many benefits, one is that it helps boost the immune system. Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods and natural killer (NK) cells, which are the first to respond to anything from cancer to a common cold. Pancreatic cancer cells need vitamin B6 to replicate and use up all the vitamin B6 that the NK cells need to protect the immune system. Pancreatic cancer is a systemic disease that takes nutrients from multiple areas in the body to survive and thrive.

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat and only 11% of people who are diagnosed survive for five years. A researcher at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine is bringing new hope to increase that percentage by studying how to reverse pancreatic cancer cells from depleting vitamin B6 with a three-part strategy. Step one, reduce the expression of a certain gene to block the pathway through which the cancer takes up vitamin B6. Step two, supply more vitamin B6. Step three, therapy to enhance the function of NK cells.

Pancreatic cancer causes problems throughout the body in its attempt to gain more nutrients. Research will expand to better understand how a lack of vitamin B6 affects other organ, with a focus on the liver, when cancer is present. The expanded research will also study whether a lack of vitamin B6 plays a role in the onset of cachexia, a muscle-wasting condition that affects many people with pancreatic cancer.

Read more OU College of Medicine Researcher Makes Promising Discoveries on Role of Vitamin B6 in Pancreatic Cancer.