Pancreatic cancer stands as one of the deadliest forms of cancer, often diagnosed at advanced stages, making early intervention challenging and prognosis poor.
Given its severity and late diagnosis, it’s anticipated to surpass other prevalent cancers, becoming the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2030.
This grim forecast necessitates novel and efficient treatment strategies.
The poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer is often associated with the existence of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs).
These cells amplify resistance to chemotherapy, making the eradication of CSCs a vital goal for treating pancreatic cancer. However, a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms governing CSCs has been lacking.
In a groundbreaking study led by Siim Pauklin at NDORMS, researchers hypothesized the pivotal role of epigenetic proteins in maintaining the resilient properties of CSCs.
They initiated a search for potential targets and pinpointed the protein BRD9 as a key regulator of CSC behavior. The inhibition of BRD9 emerged as a promising approach to specifically targeting and eliminating CSCs in pancreatic cancer.
Impact and Implications
Siim Pauklin explained, “We identified the protein BRD9 and found that inhibiting it notably decreased CSCs’ self-renewal, invasiveness, and resistance to chemotherapy.”
By targeting BRD9, the efficacy of drugs can be enhanced, and the self-renewing and invasive properties of CSCs can be reduced, creating a pathway for more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.
The study published in Gastroenterology reveals a revolutionary approach where inhibiting BRD9 could block the growth and invasiveness of CSCs and enhance their sensitivity to chemotherapy.
Pauklin added, “This implies not just targeting the bulk cancer cells but also the CSCs, which wasn’t achievable before.”
Pancreatic cancer’s lethality stems from late diagnoses and the presence of resistant cancer stem-like cells, demanding innovative treatments.
The discovery of BRD9 as a regulator of CSC behavior opens new avenues for therapeutic interventions, where its inhibition can significantly reduce the resistance, self-renewal, and invasiveness of CSCs.
This approach not only targets the primary cancer cell population but also focuses on CSCs, thus paving the way for more effective and comprehensive treatment strategies.
By incorporating these novel findings with existing chemotherapy regimens, we might soon see improved treatment outcomes and enhanced survival rates for pancreatic cancer patients.
If you care about cancer, please read studies that a low-carb diet could increase overall cancer risk, and vitamin D supplements could strongly reduce cancer death.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about how drinking milk affects the risks of heart disease and cancer and results showing higher intake of dairy foods linked to higher prostate cancer risk.
The research findings can be found in Gastroenterology.
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