Tags: pancreatic | biomarker

Biomarker for Pancreatic Cancer ID’d

Friday, 18 May 2012 01:00 PM

Scientists have identified a new biomarker for pancreatic cancer, an often-fatal disease that is rarely caught early and for which there is no effective treatment.
Researchers at the University of California-San Diego, writing in the journal Cancer Research, said the finding could lead to new ways to catch and treat such cancers earlier, increasing the survival odds of patients who often die within the first year after diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death, with fewer than 5 percent of patients surviving five years.
"Survival rates for patients with pancreatic cancer remain low," said Dr. Michael Bouvet, a researcher with the UCSD Department of Surgery at Moores Cancer Center. "Therefore, earlier detection and novel treatment strategies are very important if we are going to make any progress against pancreatic cancer. Since current therapies are often ineffective, our hope is that the findings from this research will open up a new line of investigation [into new therapies]."
Specially, researchers discovered that a particular protein – termed PEAK1, which acts as an "on" or "off" switch in many cellular functions -- is increased in pancreatic cancer patients, in whom it promotes cancer growth and spread. That makes PEAK1 a promising biomarker and target for new therapies.
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

© HealthDay

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Scientists find a biomarker for the often-fatal disease that could lead to early diagnosis and treatment.
Friday, 18 May 2012 01:00 PM
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