Pancreatic Cancer: December 2006 Archives

Key to why cancer kills so often

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pancreatic cancer Scientists have pinpointed a possible reason why pancreatic cancer is such an aggressive disease.

A University of Liverpool team found a family of proteins involved in controlling cell movement could be key.

The study, which appears in the journal Gut, could offer a new lead on a disease which is hard to treat.

There are around 7,000 cases of pancreatic cancer in the UK each year. It can be hard to spot as the pancreas is located deep inside the body.

Quit Smoking if Pancreatic Cancer Runs in the Family

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pancreatic cancerISLAMABAD - People with a family history of pancreatic cancer should make an extra effort to stay off tobacco.

A new study suggests smoking could trigger this deadly form of cancer in people who are at high risk of developing the disease. Researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, studied 826 people with pancreatic cancer, of whom 30 had at least one close relative who had also had the disease.

They found that people with a family history were more likely to develop the disease at a younger age -- below 50 -- and also more likely to be smokers. Smoking is known to raise the risk of pancreatic cancer, said study co-author John Gibbs, MD, FACS, a surgical oncologist and chief of the department of gastrointestinal surgery and endoscopy at Roswell Park.

"What was surprising is that when you have people with familial pancreatic cancer and they present at a younger age, [smoking] seems to be an added risk factor contributing to the malignant transformation," he explained.

Asthma Drug Shows Promise in Pancreatic Cancer

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cromolynHOUSTON, Dec. 19 -- Cromolyn, an old-line asthma and allergy drug, has shown a marked effect on the progress of pancreatic cancer -- at least in mice.

In several experiments reported in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Craig Logsdon, Ph.D., of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center here, and colleagues, found that:

  • Cromolyn binds to S100P, a protein that is over-expressed in pancreatic cancer and is associated with tumor growth and invasion.
  • S100P itself binds to the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (or RAGE) to initiate downstream signaling that leads to tumor growth. The researchers showed that cromolyn blocks that interaction in vitro.
  • In mice with tumors that express S100P, the medication, in combination with the standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, Gemzar (gemcitabine), sharply reduced tumor growth.
  • Finally, in tumors that do not express S100P, cromolyn had no effect.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Pancreatic Cancer category from December 2006.

Pancreatic Cancer: November 2006 is the previous archive.

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