Navigation Links
Unmasking the deadly secrets of pancreatic cancer

A large-scale study that defines the complexity of underlying mutations responsible for pancreatic cancers in more than 100 patients was published in Nature today.

The analysis represents the first report from Australia's contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), which brings together the world's leading scientists to identify the genetic drivers behind 50 different cancer types.

Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers and is one of the few for which survival has not improved substantially over the past 40 years. It is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death.

Professor Sean Grimmond, from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland, and Professor Andrew Biankin, from The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research/ St. Vincent's Hospital led an international team of more than 100 researchers that sequenced the genomes of 100 pancreatic tumours and compared them to normal tissue to determine the genetic changes that lead to this cancer.

"We found over 2,000 mutated genes in total, ranging from the KRAS gene, which was mutated in about 90 per cent of samples, to hundreds of gene mutations that were only present in 1 or 2 per cent of tumours," Professor Grimmond said.

"So while tumours may look very similar under the microscope, genetic analysis reveals as many variations in each tumour as there are patients.

"This demonstrates that so-called 'pancreatic cancer' is not one disease, but many, and suggests that people who seemingly have the same cancer might need to be treated quite differently."

Professor Biankin said such individual genetic diagnoses and treatments represent the future of healthcare.

"In this study, we found a set of genes, the axon guidance pathway, that is frequently damaged in pancreatic cancer patients and is associated with a potentially poorer outcome for those patients. It is a new marker of pancreatic cancer that can be used to direct prognoses and treatments.

"'Personalised medicine', where the molecular profile of a patient is matched to the best treatment, is the way the world is moving for many diseases, not just cancer."

"The challenge now will be in moving from population healthcare and a 'one drug fits all' model to personalised healthcare. First we must take the time to develop the necessary genetic knowledge and implement health systems to translate that knowledge effectively."

Professors Biankin and Grimmond acknowledged the vital assistance of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative, a network of more than 20 hospitals and research institutions Australia-wide, with over 200 members surgeons, pathologists, nurses and researchers - that all contributed to the project (

They also collaborated with colleagues from the Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Texas, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, the University of California San Francisco, the University of Verona, the Cambridge Research Institute and the Sanger Centre in the UK.

The ICGC project is being funded through $27.5 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NH&MRC), its largest-ever single grant.

NHMRC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Warwick Anderson said that "NHMRC is proud to have been the major funding contributor to this research, and I am delighted that breakthroughs have been made in understanding the genetic basis of this disease.

"This positive outcome is evidence of NHMRC supporting the very best research and researchers, and the importance of our involvement in strong national and international collaborations.

"The ultimate goal of our funding is healthier citizens, both in Australia and overseas, and this research will certainly lead to a better understanding of this issue."

Contact: Iris Hui
Research Australia

Related medicine news :

1. New tools help nursing homes track and prevent deadly infections
2. Genome-wide scan maps mutations in deadly lung cancers; reveals embryonic gene link
3. Deadly witch hunts targeted by grassroots womens groups
4. Missed Diagnoses in ICU Often Have Deadly Results: Review
5. Microbiology and Genome Experts Quell Deadly Bacteria Outbreak
6. Deadly outbreak of West Nile virus highlights urgent need for more research, funding
7. Weekend hospital stays prove more deadly than other times for older people with head trauma
8. New Vaccine May Offer Protection From Deadly Nipah Virus
9. AuCoin gets $600,000 to refine new test for deadly bacterial infection melioidosis
10. UT Southwestern study suggests new treatment target for deadly brain tumors
11. Tornadoes Dont Have to Be Deadly, Experts Say
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and ... to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two ... currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department ... in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at ... Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... To deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or ... Center of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... VEGAS , June 26, 2016 ... to value-based care operating models within the health care ... enable greater financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a ... the key business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor ... , These services facilitate better outcomes and better ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market for ... report includes the following: , World IVD ... (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD Companion ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: