Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

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Faculty Advisor(s)

Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith


According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. In addition to being an exceptionally aggressive form of cancer, it is particularly difficult to treat because it is usually diagnosed in late stages after the onset of metastasis (1). Consequently, the current treatments used, including chemotherapy and radiation, have been rendered ineffective (2). As a result, focus has been placed on using dietary alternatives which are known to possess chemopreventive properties (3). Previous studies have indicated that Gallic acid (an important phytochemical in pomegranates) and Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (the primary catechin in Green Tea) have inhibited cancer cell growth in a variety of cancer cell types (4-9). Similarly, studies have shown that caffeine, the primary compound found in coffee beans, has been successful in stimulating apoptosis in endometrial, liver, skin, breast, prostate, colorectal, oral, and bone cancers (10-20). Although these compounds have individually demonstrated great positive effects there has, until now, never been a study done to compare the effects of these compounds both individually and in combination on pancreatic cancer cells. The purpose of this research project is to identify whether caffeine, Gallic Acid (GA), or Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGC3G) is the most effective cancer fighting agent. Once we have ascertained the two most effective compounds, combination studies will be done to see what effect the combination treatments have on pancreatic cancer cell inhibition and the PIM-3 and E. cadherin protein levels, relative to the individual treatments.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.