Scientists find new therapy to kill pancreatic cancer from within

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Every 12 minutes, someone in the United States dies of pancreatic cancer, which is often diagnosed late, spreads rapidly, and has a five-year survival rate of approximately 10%.

Treatment may involve radiation, surgery and chemotherapy, though often cancer becomes resistant to drugs.

In a new study, researchers found that a new tumor-penetrating therapy may enhance the effects of chemotherapy, reduce metastasis and increase survival.

They showed how a tumor-targeting peptide, called iRGD, can sneak inside the armor that the tumor built to protect itself and destroy the tumor from within.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of California San Diego and elsewhere.

The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach. It makes enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that regulate blood sugar levels.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a subtype of pancreatic cancer that is highly drug-resistant due, in part, by the hard shell-like outer layer surrounding the tumor.

In the study, the team examined the microenvironment of PDAC tumors in a mouse model.

They found that after targeting the tumor blood vessels, iRGD binds to high levels of a protein that produces much of the tumor’s protective fibrous cover.

They found that when iRGD was injected with chemotherapy with high levels of β5 integrin, there was a big increase in survival and a reduction in cancer spreading to other organs in the body compared to chemotherapy alone.

This could be a powerful treatment strategy to target aggressive pancreatic cancer.

In addition, the new therapy did not produce any additional side effects. This is critically important when considering treatments for patients.

The researchers said the next steps include a national human clinical trial. They estimate the trial could begin in one year.

One author of the study is Tatiana Hurtado de Mendoza, Ph.D.

The study is published in Nature Communications.

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