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A breakthrough in pancreatic cancer by scientists finding new ways to "reverse" deadly illness

Scientists have discovered that it is possible to reverse the key processes that allow pancreatic cancer cells to grow and spread around the body.

Researchers suggest that the findings may ultimately pave the way for new treatments for the disease.

This study shows that a protein called GREM1 is the key to controlling the cell type found in pancreatic cancer.

According to researchers, manipulating the levels of this protein may promote and reverse the ability of these cells to become more aggressive.

Professor Axel Behrens, leader of the Cancer Stem Cell Team at the London Cancer Institute (ICR), was the senior author of this study.

He states: "This is an important and fundamental discovery that opens new avenues for the cure of pancreatic cancer.

" In the lab, it is possible to reverse the cell fate of pancreatic cancer. It has been shown that the clock of the aggressive tumor is returned and switched to a more treatable state.

"By better understanding what promotes the aggressive spread of pancreatic cancer. , I would like to use this knowledge to identify ways to make pancreatic cancer less aggressive and more curable. ”

Pancreatic cancer is the lowest of the most common cancers. Shows survival rate.

Less than 7% survive for more than 5 years.

In the UK, more than 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, and more than 9,000 die from pancreatic cancer.

ICR researchers have studied pancreatic cancer using mice and a gene that turns off the GREM1 protein in a "minitumor" of the pancreas, also known as an organoid.

They found that turning off GREM1 rapidly changes the shape of tumor cells and develops new properties that help them invade new tissues and move around the body. ..

Within 10 days, researchers found that all tumor cells changed their identity to a dangerous and invasive cell type.

But importantly, scientists have found that increasing GREM1 levels can reverse this process and return the invasive cell type to a less dangerous form. did.

Researchers hope to use this knowledge to find ways to return more advanced pancreatic cancer to an easier, less aggressive form of treatment.

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But science is in its infancy and requires significant further research.

ICR Chief Executive Professor Kristian Helin said: For the patient and his loved one.

"This new discovery broadens our understanding of the molecular basis of how pancreatic cancer gains the ability to grow and spread around the body.

"More work is needed, but this type of basic research is essential to develop new and more effective treatment concepts for cancer."