The study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, involved sifting through the genomes of thousands of tumors, sampled from all over the world. In 17 percent of cases, there was a genetic flag that indicated the tumor should be susceptible to existing chemotherapy drugs. The researchers also found supporting evidence for heritable genes, including some in the BRCA family associated with breast cancer, that can predispose whole families toward pancreatic cancer.
"People have been looking for such markers for a long time, and our study shows that it's possible to break pancreatic cancer patients into different treatment buckets," said senior author Nathan Bahary, M.D., Ph.D., oncologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and associate professor of medicine at Pitt.
Reason - Cancer - Majority - Patients - Disease
One reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly is that the majority of patients often are identified late in their disease course and frequently present with inoperable tumors at the time of diagnosis. For some of these patients, it may be possible to shrink the tumor with existing chemotherapy drugs, but in a disease where 75 percent of patients die within a year of diagnosis, time is of the essence, and unfortunately, there's no way to know in advance which patients will respond to which drugs.
"Every pancreatic cancer is different, and performing molecular profiling of each patient's tumor...
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