Pancreatic cancer protein biomarker could predict outcomes

Around 90% of cases of pancreatic cancer are pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, a cancer of the duct that carries digestive enzymes and bile to the gut. In research published in Nature, a team of researchers from the U.K, U.S., and Germany have found that if a gene, USP9X, is faulty and produces low levels of its tumor-suppressing protein, mice with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma are less likely to survive surgery, and there is a higher chance of the cancer metastasizing. If this can be reproduced in humans, levels of the protein could be used as a biomarker to predict patients' outcomes. According to the researchers, the gene could be faulty in 15% of pancreatic cancers, and drugs that correct this could show promise in pancreatic cancer treatment. Press release | Abstract

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