Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate Linked to 4 Genes

According to a new study in JAMA Oncology, alterations in 4 specific genes indicate how long a patient with pancreatic cancer will survive. The activity of these 4 genes were analyzed: KRAS, CDKN2A, SMAD4, and TP53. This study involved 356 patients who all had pancreatic adenocarcinoma, which is the most common type of pancreas tumor. The tumor was surgically removed and scientists extracted DNA from the cancerous and normal tissues. Disease-free survival indicates the time between surgery and when the cancer returns. Overall survival indicates the time from surgery to death. Patients who had 3 or 4 of the altered genes had worse survival odds in both disease-free survival and overall survival. This research helps researchers, doctors, etc. understand how the disease is likely going to progress in each patient and how to further guide these patients. The article stated that a recent study has shown that "an accurate classification of pancreatic cancer's spread to the lymph nodes is also an effective tool to predict disease survival in surgery-eligible patients."

Because of the findings in this study, future research studies will be more advanced in design. I feel that this research helps Oncology physicians get a better understanding of how to treat each patient with pancreatic cancer. Some may need more strict guidance than others due to their odds of survival. I think that future research will find a way to minimize the mortality rate of pancreatic cancer by improving and strengthening treatments for the patients in critical condition. I also feel that this research gives the patients with pancreatic cancer a better understanding of their condition and a chance to ask questions about what to do next after surgery. I found this article very interesting, but I would like to see more in this study by researching other aggressive cancers with poor survival odds, such as breast cancer.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! Of all cancers, pancreatic cancer has been shown to have the lowest survival rate. In general, cancer is very complex because of the amount of possible genetic mutations that are involved. Also within each type of cancer, there are other subsets of genes involved as well. The best way for researchers to unlock the mystery of cancer and potential cures is to map out all of the possible biological mechanisms involved in its formation. Because each type of cancer is so complex, understanding the different genes involved in pancreatic cancer will definitely be much more beneficial to help target each individual case. While this may not be a cure, it definitely helps Oncologists understand the molecular basic of the strength/type of pancreatic cancer that they are dealing with. Overall, very interesting, and hopefully this research will be the basis for new developments in all cancers.