Unmasking the Deadly Secrets of Pancreatic Cancer
Australia is taking the lead in pancreatic cancer research with the APGI's research being published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. See the article here. These findings are the first step in Australia's contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) - A consortium of the world's leading scientists working together identify the genetic drivers behind 50 different cancer types.
The APGI's research has taken diagnosis of cancer a step further than the microscope and into the realm of genetics. Whilst tumours look similar under the microscope, by sequencing 100 pancreatic cancer genomes we have seen that genetically, pancreatic cancer is not one disease. This knowlege is allowing us to to identify the many genetic subtypes of pancreatic cancer with the aim of personalising an individuals treatment to their genetic differences. The vision of personalised medicine is to match the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time.
In particular, we have found a pathway which could act as a new marker for pancreatic cancer. A set of genes known as the axon guidance pathway has been shown to be frequently damaged in pancreatic cancer patients and is often associated with poor outcome. This pathway could therefore be used to direct prognoses and treatments for pancreatic cancer in the future.
The next challenge researchers face will be the translation of this genetic knowledge into effective individual treatment for pancreatic cancer patients.
For more information see the offical Garvan press release here www.garvan.org.au/news-events/news/unmasking-the-deadly-secrets-of-pancreatic-cancer.html