Utilizing the Addiction of Pancreatic Cancer to Develop New Anticancer Therapies

Researcher Professor Chris Vakoc said that in this study we investigated the addictive behavior of the most aggressive cancer cells in the pancreatic cancer subtype, which has a very high mortality rate. The average survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients after diagnosis is about two years. However, a group of well-known pancreatic cancer subtypes end in the first year of diagnosis. The researchers speculate that a special protein in the pancreas of these unfortunate pancreatic cancer patients may be the culprit. 

The researchers then identified a gene called TP63 (Tumor-Protein 63), which is expressed especially in malignant pancreatic cancer. Normally, protein 63 (P63) does not exist in pancreatic cells, but is essential for squamous cell production, whereas squamous cell production is essential. When researchers noticed that P63 also played a role in the pancreas, they seemed to find a suspicion that P63 could promote the growth of pancreatic cells and make them normal cells.

After that, researchers found that having this squamous cell promoter gene can be extremely active in tumors, making new types of isolated cells easy to produce and spread to other parts of the body; however, when things get easier, there is often an unexpected "trap". According to researchers, cancer cells may be gradually dependent on P63. In fact, cancer cells need this protein to continue to grow, so researchers need to find a suitable way to inhibit P63 activity as a treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer. 

In addition, in this study, the researchers also clarified why TP63 is activated in pancreatic tissue of specific patients. If researchers can block TP63 activation, it may be possible to develop novel therapies for pancreatic cancer patients.

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