Effects of gemcitabine inducted oxidative stress and anti-tumoral synergism with cannabinoids in pancreatic cancer

Starting date
October 1, 2008
Duration (months)
Managers or local contacts
Donadelli Massimo
Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma, Oxidative stress/reactive oxygen species (ROS), Apoptosis, Cell growth inhibition, Biomarker

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the synergistic growth inhibitory effect of the combination of the gold standard gemcitabine (GEM) with cannabinoids in different pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines and to study the molecular mechanisms associated, with particular interest to those involved on oxidative stress generation.
In particular, the goals of the project are:
  1. study of the molecular mechanisms involved in the intracellular oxidative stress induction by GEM or cannabinoids;
  2. study of the effect of GEM on mitochondria: DNA synthesis, gene expression and activity of the respiratory chain complexes;
  3. identification and functional evaluation of novel and ROS-associated biomarkers involved in the cellular response to GEM;
  4. pancreatic tissue validation of the biomarkers identified;
  5. improvement of GEM sensitivity of low responsive cell lines by adding cannabinoids to GEM, in vitro and in vivo;
  6. study of the proteomic profile before and after treatment with GEM and/or cannabinoids;
  7. evaluation of the anti-tumoural properties of GEM and/or cannabinoid treatments on cell lines from a wide panel of tumour types.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Daniela Cecconi
Associate Professor
Elisa Dalla Pozza
Technical-administrative staff
Massimo Donadelli
Full Professor
Tatyana Zaniboni


Research facilities