Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Study reveals pancreatic cancer is 4 diseases

Copyright : Naveen Kalwa
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 24, 2016 – An international team led by Australian researchers has found that pancreatic cancer is actually four separate diseases, each with different genetic triggers and survival rates.

In a first of its kind research study, the team performed an integrated genomic analysis of 456 pancreatic tumors, which combines the results of several techniques to examine  the genetic code, together with variations in structure and gene activity to determine the core processes that are damaged when normal pancreatic tissues change into aggressive cancers.

The result published today in the international journal Nature, produced more information than ever before about the genetic damage that leads to pancreatic cancer.

Professor Grimmond, formerly of The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), is now the Director of Research & The Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine, University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research said the findings pave the way for more accurate diagnoses and treatments.

"We identified 32 genes from 10 genetic pathways that are consistently mutated in pancreatic tumors, but further analysis of gene activity revealed four distinct subtypes of tumors," Grimmond said in a press release. 

Significantly for patients, Grimmond said there are already cancer drugs, and drugs in development, that can potentially target the parts of the 'damaged machinery' driving pancreatic cancers to start.
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