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Home Industry News Pancreatic cancer ‘may be four distinct diseases’

Pancreatic cancer ‘may be four distinct diseases’

25th February 2016

A new study has indicated that pancreatic cancer may actually consist of four separate diseases with specific genetic triggers and survival rates.

An international team led by Australian researchers carried out an integrated genomic analysis, combining the results of several techniques to investigate the genetic damage that leads to this form of cancer.

Looking at the genomes of 456 pancreatic tumours, a total of 32 genes from ten genetic pathways were identified that are consistently mutated in pancreatic tumours. Further analysis of gene activity suggested the tumours could be sorted into four distinct subtypes.

Some strains of pancreatic cancer were unexpectedly shown to be associated with mutations normally linked with colon cancer or leukaemia, while others displayed stronger similarities to bladder and lung cancers.

The discovery that each form of the disease has different genetic triggers and survival rates could aid future research and treatment efforts.

Professor Sean Grimmond of the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research said: "Knowing which subtype a patient has would allow a doctor to provide a more accurate prognosis and treatment recommendations."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801813458-ADNFCR

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