What makes pancreatic cancer so aggressive? New study sheds light

Lyra Nara Blog

New research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center helps explain why pancreatic cancer is so lethal, with fewer than a third of patients surviving even early stage disease.

The researchers found a gene known to be involved in nearly 90 percent of pancreatic cancers promotes cancer growth and spread. The gene, ATDC, plays a key role in how a tumor progresses from a preinvasive state to an invasive cancer to metastatic cancer.

“We know that patients with the earliest stage of pancreatic cancer have a survival rate of only 30 percent. This suggests that even in that very early stage of invasive cancer there are already cells that have spread to distant parts of the body,” says study author Diane M. Simeone, M.D., director of the Pancreatic Cancer Center at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“This study sheds important light on what it is about pancreatic…

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