Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Nalin Goonesekere, Ph.D., Honors Thesis Advisor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Pancreas--Cancer--Diagnosis; Pancreas--Cancer--Genetic aspects;


Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the deadliest cancers among both men and women. However, if it is detected early, there is a significant increase in the 5-year survivability of the disease1 . Currently, there are no truly efficient detection mechanisms available to detect earlystage PC when treatment options are more viable. The first objective of this project was to determine the expression levels of AHNAK2, IGHG3, EPPK1, CTHRC1, CEL, PLA2G1B, and GNMT—all known to be aberrantly expressed in PC cell lines—in early-stage PC tissue and assess the feasibility of their use as potential biomarkers for PC. To accomplish this, total RNA was extracted from the tumor samples and their expression was analyzed using RT-qPCR. The second objective was to determine the effects that the compound 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-β-Dglucopyranoside (PGG) has on PC cell lines by counting the number of viable cells remaining after exposure to varying concentrations of PGG. It was found that the genes IGHG3 and CTHRC1, if taken together, may be able to identify the majority of early-stage PCs. Additionally, it was discovered that PGG has a significant effect on PC cell survivability. The EC50 value for BxPC-3 cells treated with PGG was determined to be 0.012 mg/mL and PGG was shown to significantly increase the expression levels of GNMT. Additional analysis of the expression levels of IGHG3 and CTHRC1 in blood samples will help provide further information about their viability as potential biomarkers for PC.

Year of Submission



Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 24 pages)



File Format


Included in

Oncology Commons