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Jefferson scientists' discovery may help explain smoking-pancreatic cancer link
Date:4/14/2008

transcriptional but also translational (protein secretion) levels in pancreatic cancer cells, Dr. Arafat explains. Pancreas tissue samples from pancreatic cancer patients also showed higher than normal levels of the protein.

Dr. Arafat believes that osteopontin could be a drug target. We are now proposing that perhaps blocking osteopontin can interfere with the progression of pancreatic cancer and other cancers, she says, adding that her team would like to understand more about osteopontins effects on pancreatic cancer cell behavior. Dr. Arafats group now is comparing differences in osteopontin expression between smokers and non-smokers.

For example, if you put the cells with nicotine and block osteopontin, will the cells still be migratory? Is it osteopontin or something else in combination that is at work here?

Pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in this country, takes some 34,000 lives a year. The disease is difficult to treat; it frequently is detected after it has spread. Only 4 percent of individuals with pancreatic cancer live for five years after diagnosis, and about 25 percent of those who undergo successful surgical removal of their disease live at least that long.


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Contact: Steve Benowitz
steven.benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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