Research shows big cause and hopeful treatment of pancreatic cancer

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Pancreatic cancer, particularly Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is a tough battle for many, known for being incredibly aggressive and often called a “silent killer.”

This is mostly because it’s hard to detect early and treat effectively, leading to a heartbreakingly low survival rate of just 8% over five years.

In the quest to find better treatments, a recent study by the Francis Crick Institute has brought a ray of hope. The team, led by Axel Behrens, focused on a critical aspect of the cancer: the cancer stem cells.

These cells are like the bad seeds of the tumor, capable of starting new tumors and changing into different types of cancer cells, making them a key target for treatment.

The study, published in Nature Cell Biology, made a groundbreaking discovery about a protein named CD9 found on these cancer stem cells. CD9 is not just present; it plays a big role in the cancer’s growth and aggression.

The research showed that by changing the levels of CD9 in mice, they could directly influence the size and aggression of the tumors. More CD9 meant bigger, meaner tumors, while less CD9 led to smaller ones.

This finding is especially important because it not only helps identify these dangerous cells but also links higher levels of CD9 to a worse outlook for about 10% of PDAC patients who have a lot of it.

The study went even further, uncovering how CD9 affects the cancer cells’ metabolism, particularly in how they use glutamine, a key nutrient for their growth.

This opens up new possibilities for treatments targeting CD9, aiming to cut off the nutrient supply that cancer cells need to grow, offering a new strategy in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

While there’s still a long way to go in turning these discoveries into treatments, this research marks a significant step forward. It gives us a better understanding of the disease and a potential new pathway for treatment, offering hope to many facing this daunting challenge.

For those affected by PDAC, this progress is more than just scientific achievement; it’s a light in the darkness, suggesting that a future where this cancer can be beaten is on the horizon.

If you care about cancer, please read studies that low-carb diet could increase overall cancer risk, and new way to increase the longevity of cancer survivors.

For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about how to fight cancer with these anti-cancer superfoods, and results showing daily vitamin D3 supplementation may reduce cancer death risk.

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