Facts about Pancreatic Cancer:
Among the cancer deaths across the world, Pancreatic cancer is the 7th most fatal. Cancer cells have the chances of developing from both the functional cells of pancreas i.e. endocrine and exocrine. The most common pancreatic cancer is adenocarcinomas, which is an exocrine pancreatic cancer tumor that forms in the pancreas ducts.
The Pancreas is a gland located adjacent to the small intestine behind our stomach. The two major functions of Pancreas are to release digestive enzymes into the small intestine, which is an exocrine function and also to release hormones which regulate the blood sugar levels, which is an endocrine function. A person’s body would be unable to produce insulin without a pancreas. This would result in the person developing diabetes and being dependent on insulin.
With the advent of new technologies and medicines, death rates for other different types of cancers are decreasing but due to lack of effective therapy, the pancreatic cancer death rates are increasing. Surgery and chemotherapy in combination with radiation therapy is the common treatment given to the patients for treating the locally advanced pancreatic cancer. In most of the cases, the diagnosis occurs at the advanced stage of the disease with no effective therapy, leading to increased death rates.
Scientists are researching more and more about the gene changes that occur in pancreatic cells that become a cause of cancer. A person is at risk of developing pancreatic cancer if he/she has inherited changes in gene such as p16, BRCA2, and Lynch syndrome.
Pancreatic Cancer Drug side effects:
Chemo drugs are either taken orally or injected into the vein. These drugs enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. These drugs may do well in some patients while some may have severe side-effects like
- Hair Loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mouth sores
- Loss of appetite
- Chances of increases infection
- Shortage of platelet
- Shortness of breath
- Kidney damage
- Nerve pain
Most of the side effects disappear once the treatment is stopped. Doctors usually advise sufficient intake of fluid during the treatment.
Upcoming Collaborations and Technologies
Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy
A new translational research team has been formed by the organization Stand Up to Cancer in collaboration with the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic cancer research to investigate how CAR T-cell therapy can help eradicate pancreatic cancer. CAR T-cell therapy uses genetic engineering in order to redirect a pancreatic cancer patient’s own T cells so as to target the cancer cells. The team is aggressively finding ways to treat this deadly disease and increase response rate among the affected patients.
Reprogramming the cells
Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have found a new way of dealing with pancreatic cancer. As per the analysis of these researchers, it has been revealed that Saa3 (Serum amyloid A) genes are responsible most of the times for Cancer-associated fibroblasts. These CAFs become a machine that produces many tumor components. When the scientists of SNCRC eliminated this gene from CAFs, the cells turned to behave like normal fibroblasts. In the process, it also lost the ability to accelerate the growth of tumor cells. They were stripped off from their pro-tumor property due to the cells being reprogrammed. However, Clinical applications on humans are way too early to think about as the studies are still underway.
Micro RNA (MIR506)
MIR506 is a molecule naturally produced in a human body. It acts as a tumor suppressor for most of the cancers. The researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical center in collaboration with scientists of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tianjin Medical University General Hospital in China theorized that Micro RNA (MIR506) can be the next generation Pancreatic Cancer Therapeutic molecule that could contribute towards regulating the cell behavior. An adequate level of this molecule helps the cell to function normally while a decrease in the level of MIR506 triggers cell expansion and growth, leading to tumors. Various tests are being carried out to know more about this molecule.
These upcoming technologies could play a crucial role in advancing the growth of the overall Pancreatic Cancer Therapeutics market over the next decade.
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