Targeting acquired oncogenic burden in resilient pancreatic cancer: a novel benefit from marine polyphenols

Sheeja Aravindan, Dinesh Babu Somasundaram, Somasundaram T. Somasundaram, Mohan Natarajan, Terence S. Herman, Natarajan Aravindan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The upsurge of marine-derived therapeutics for cancer treatment is evident, with many drugs in clinical use and in clinical trials. Seaweeds harbor large amounts of polyphenols and their anti-cancer benefit is linear to their anti-oxidant activity. Our studies identified three superlative anti-cancer seaweed polyphenol drug candidates (SW-PD). We investigated the acquisition of oncogenic burden in radiation-resilient pancreatic cancer (PC) that could drive tumor relapse, and elucidated the efficacy of SW-PD candidates as adjuvants in genetically diverse in vitro systems and a mouse model of radiation-residual disease. QPCR profiling of 88 oncogenes in therapy-resilient PC cells identified a ‘shared’ activation of 40 oncogenes. SW-PD pretreatment inflicted a significant mitigation of acquired (shared) oncogenic burden, in addition to drug- and cell-line-specific repression signatures. Tissue microarray with IHC of radiation-residual tumors in mice signified acquired cellular localization of key oncoproteins and other critical architects. Conversely, SW-PD treatment inhibited the acquisition of these critical drivers of tumor genesis, dissemination, and evolution. Heightened death of resilient PC cells with SW-PD treatment validated the translation aspects. The results defined the acquisition of oncogenic burden in resilient PC and demonstrated that the marine polyphenols effectively target the acquired oncogenic burden and could serve as adjuvant(s) for PC treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired therapy resistance
  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Oncotargets
  • Seaweed polyphenols
  • Tumor relapse and recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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