Researchers identify first steps in formation of pancreatic cancer

Lyra Nara Blog

Pancreatic cancer

Axial CT image with i.v. contrast. Macrocystic adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head. Credit: public domain

Researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville say they have identified first steps in the origin of pancreatic cancer and that their findings suggest preventive strategies to explore.

In an online issue of Cancer Discovery, the scientists described the molecular steps necessary for acinar cells in the pancreas—the cells that release digestive enzymes—to become precancerous lesions. Some of these lesions can then morph into cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer develops from these lesions, so if we understand how these lesions come about, we may be able to stop the cancer train altogether,” says the study’s lead investigator, Peter Storz, Ph.D., a cancer biologist.

The need for new treatment and prevention strategies is pressing, Dr. Storz says. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human cancers—symptoms do not occur until the cancer is well advanced. One-year…

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