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Revising the timeline for deadly pancreatic cancer
Date:10/27/2010

control in the future, this finding is paramount," Vogelstein says. "It gives us hope that we will eventually be able to reduce morbidity and mortality from pancreatic cancer through earlier detection."

The research also provided a glimpse into how pancreatic tumors evolve. In the pancreatic tumors of two of the patients, Iacobuzio-Donahue sectioned the tumors into smaller pieces, and then examined the genetics of each section. Surprisingly, she found that each tumor comprised genetically distinct sub-tumors. That is, the tumor continued to accumulate genetic mutations after the tumor first appeared.

"We saw a whole lot of evolution within the primary tumor, producing what looked like a series of generations of tumor clones fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, you could say," Vogelstein says. "The primary tumor is, in fact, not a single tumor but an accretion of several genetically distinct tumors. Moreover, we could find a subclone within the primary tumor that gave rise to each metastasis," Vogelstein says. "That's fascinating from a basic science perspective and gives us some deep insights into how these tumors evolve."


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Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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