Unmasking the deadly secrets of pancreatic cancer
(Medical Xpress)—A large-scale study that defines the complexity of underlying mutations responsible for pancreatic cancers in more than 100 patients was published in Nature.
The analysis represents the first report from Australia's contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), which brings together the world's leading scientists to identify the genetic drivers behind 50 different cancer types.
Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers and is one of the few for which survival has not improved substantially over the past 40 years. It is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death.
Professor Sean Grimmond, from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland, and Professor Andrew Biankin, from The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research/ St. Vincent's Hospital led an international team of more than 100 researchers that sequenced the genomes of 100 pancreatic tumours and compared them to normal tissue to determine the genetic changes that lead to this cancer.
"We found over 2,000 mutated genes in total, ranging from the KRAS gene, which was mutated in about 90 per cent of samples, to hundreds of gene mutations that were only present in 1 or 2 per cent of tumours," Professor Grimmond said.
"This demonstrates that so-called 'pancreatic cancer' is not one disease, but many, and suggests that people who seemingly have the same cancer might need to be treated quite differently."
Professor Biankin said such individual genetic diagnoses and treatments represent the future of healthcare.
"In this study, we found a set of genes, the axon guidance pathway, that is frequently damaged in pancreatic cancer patients and is associated with a potentially poorer outcome for those patients. It is a new marker of pancreatic cancer that can be used to direct prognoses and treatments.
"'Personalised medicine', where the molecular profile of a patient is matched to the best treatment, is the way the world is moving for many diseases, not just cancer."
"The challenge now will be in moving from population healthcare and a 'one drug fits all' model to personalised healthcare. First we must take the time to develop the necessary genetic knowledge and implement health systems to translate that knowledge effectively."
Professors Biankin and Grimmond acknowledged the vital assistance of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative, a network of more than 20 hospitals and research institutions Australia-wide, with over 200 members – surgeons, pathologists, nurses and researchers - that all contributed to the project (www.pancreaticcancer.net.au).
They also collaborated with colleagues from the Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Texas, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, the University of California San Francisco, the University of Verona, the Cambridge Research Institute and the Sanger Centre in the UK.
The ICGC project is being funded through $27.5 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NH&MRC), its largest-ever single grant.
NHMRC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Warwick Anderson said that "NHMRC is proud to have been the major funding contributor to this research, and I am delighted that breakthroughs have been made in understanding the genetic basis of this disease.
"This positive outcome is evidence of NHMRC supporting the very best research and researchers, and the importance of our involvement in strong national and international collaborations.
"The ultimate goal of our funding is healthier citizens, both in Australia and overseas, and this research will certainly lead to a better understanding of this issue."
Journal reference: Nature
Provided by Research Australia
- Personalized medicine for cancer patients in a new technology era Apr 14, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Genome analysis of pancreas tumors reveals new pathway Oct 24, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Gene identified in increasing pancreatic cancer risk Dec 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Great genetic variation in pancreatic cancer, study shows Nov 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Gene linked to pancreatic cancer growth, study finds Jan 31, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
16 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Cancer 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
By studying the roles two proteins, thrombospondin-1 and prosaposin, play in discouraging cancer metastasis, a trans-Atlantic research team has identified a five-amino acid fragment of prosaposin that significantly reduces ...
Cancer 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A novel transcriptome-based classification of colon cancer that improves the current disease stratification based on clinicopathological variables and common DNA markers is presented in a study published in PLOS Medicine this w ...
Cancer 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A study of veterans at high risk for developing lung cancer shows that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can be highly effective in helping clinicians spot tiny lung nodules which, in a small number of patients, may indicate ...
Cancer 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
An attack on glioblastoma brain tumor cells that uses a modified poliovirus is showing encouraging results in an early study to establish the proper dose level, researchers at Duke Cancer Institute report.
Cancer 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
11 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
9 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |
5 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
11 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (5) | 0 |
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |