In recent years, there have been advances in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. This is crucial, as the prognosis for this cancer is often poor, and the cancer itself is often resistant to treatment. According to Medical XPress, there may be another burgeoning therapy on the horizon. A research team identified a novel three-step treatment which stopped pancreatic cancer from spreading in mice models.
Additionally, the treatment helped to target the tumor microenvironment, allowing a strong and more effective immune response. Once again, this is extremely important and interesting, as the microenvironment itself is often hard to treat.
Within this preclinical study, which was published in Gastroenterology, researchers used FAKi protein and an anti-PD-1 immunotherapy antibody within the CXCR4 pathway. After treating the mice models, the research team saw:
- A heightened and strengthened immune response
- Destruction of the tumor and its surrounding microenvironment
- Reduced cancer spread
- Lower mortality rates and an overall longer survival
While these results are promising, more research is needed in the future to determine the safety and efficacy of this potential treatment.
About Pancreatic Cancer
As the name suggests, pancreatic cancer forms in the pancreas, an organ which releases digestive enzymes and various hormones. There are multiple subtypes of pancreatic cancer, depending on where the cancer itself develops. For example, the most common form – pancreatic adenocarcinoma – forms in the cells which line the pancreatic ducts. Islet cell tumors, a rarer form, begins in neuroendocrine cells. Risk factors include smoking cigarettes, being obese, being older in age, being male, and having a family history of pancreatic cancer.
Oftentimes, people do not have symptoms in early stages. When symptoms do appear, they can (but do not always) include:
- Newly onset or worsening diabetes
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes)
- Appetite loss
- Unintended weight loss
- Blood clots
- Dark urine and pale stools
- Bowel obstructions
- Upper abdominal pain that spreads to the back
Learn more about pancreatic cancer.