Potential biomarkers of early pancreatic cancer discovered
the ONA take:
Patients with pancreatic cancer face a poor prognosis, as only approximately 6% of patients with pancreatic cancer survive more than 5 years after diagnosis.
The low survival rate is primarily because no reliable tools are available to make an early diagnosis, when tumors can be removed before they metastasize. A team at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, Florida, may have found a potential biomarker for the disease.
Similar to ongoing work at other research centers, the Moffitt team is focusing on microRNAs, small molecules that control many cancer processes in the body.
The Moffitt team focused specifically on microRNAs linked to intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). IPMNs are a type of pancreatic cyst or lesion that can develop into pancreatic cancer the same way precancerous polyps in the colon develop into colon cancer.
These lesions can be seen on CT or MRI; however, imaging studies cannot determine if the lesions are benign or malignant. In addition, surgical resection of the lesions for biopsy can result in long-term diabetes or death. The Moffitt team identified six microRNAs that appeared to differentiate high-risk from low-risk lesions; they also appear to contribute to pancreatic cancer progression.
Researchers are hopeful that these findings will contribute to new ways of detecting the disease earlier and improving the poor prognosis for these patients.
Patients with pancreatic cancer face a poor prognosis, as only approximately 6% of patients survive.
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