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Hope Increases for People who have Pancreatic Cancer Because Scientists have Identified Cancer-suppressing Cells

A team of scientists from the reputed Nagoya University has revealed that the presence of specific cancer-suppressing cells in pancreatic cancer.

In a recent study by a team of researchers at Nagoya University, it was revealed the presence of particular cells capable of suppressing cancer in pancreatic cancer cells. The cells containing a specific protein referred to as “Meflin” played a vital role in inhibiting the overall progression of the pancreatic cancer cells. Pancreatic cancer is the specific type of cancer that is known to be hard to treat with the help of conventional anti-cancer therapies and drugs.

In the given study, the team of scientists also aimed at revealing what the overall progression of pancreatic cancer cells can be minimized significantly by artificially increasing the total amount of the given protein “Meflin” in the cells. The findings of the study can be successful in leading to the development of new treatment options as well as therapies for treating pancreatic cancer. The results of the study were published in August in the leading journal named “Cancer Research.”

The Study Involving Cancer-Suppressing Cells

Cancer cells are known to be surrounded by stromal cells –including fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are known to divide into at least two types of populations – the one promoting the progression of cancer cells and the others that aim at restraining the process of cancer cell progression. However, the innate nature of fibroblasts for restraining cancer cells remains unknown. The innate nature of fibroblasts is because of the absence of particular markers for the given population with various markers of fibroblasts that promote cancer is being identified.

A team of researchers aimed at identifying the marker of fibroblasts that restrain the progression of cancer cells. The team of researchers is being led by Prof. Masahide Takahashi & Associate Prof. Atsushi Enomoto –Department of Pathology at the reputed Graduate School of Medicine in Nagoya University. The team of researchers conducted studies on the body’s fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are known to exist in abundant numbers around the cells of pancreatic cancer while identifying the presence of the protein, namely “Meflin.”

The team of researchers aimed at focusing on the given protein. Based on the series of studies from as many as 71 patients having pancreatic cancer, the team of researchers revealed that patients having a higher amount of Meflin experienced slower progression of the pancreatic cancer cells. The experiments of the team conducted on mice samples also revealed that the progression of pancreatic cancer cells was significantly faster in mice samples having no Meflin. Therefore, it was concluded that the protein Meflin serves to be a significant marker of fibroblasts that helped in restraining pancreatic cancer cells.

At the same time, the study also revealed that by administering Vitamin D to the fibroblasts in the body, it helped in increasing the overall amount of Meflin in the pancreatic cancer cells. It was observed that the progression of pancreatic cancer cells could be restrained effectively by increasing the level of this protein artificially by incorporating vitamin D into the fibroblasts. Professor Takahashi says that the team of scientists’ goal at developing drugs that can help in increasing the levels of Meflin. This is helping in creating new targeted therapies for treating pancreatic cancer –a specific cancer type that is known to be difficult to treat with conventional anti-cancer drugs.

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the variant of cancer that is known to develop in the pancreas of the body. The pancreas is the organ that is located towards the lower area of the stomach. The pancreas is responsible for releasing enzymes that are helpful in digestion along with a series of hormones that help in managing the blood sugar levels of the body.

Pancreas cancer is known to spread out to other nearby organs of the body typically. This type of cancer is rarely diagnosed during the initial stages of the disease. One of the major symptoms of pancreatic cancer is having diabetes – primarily when diabetes is known to occur along with weight loss, pain in the abdomen area, or jaundice. Some of the available options for the treatment of pancreatic cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and a series of innovative drugs. Some of the common symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer are:

  • Blood clots
  • Pain across the upper abdomen area that spreads out to the back area
  • Unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Onset of diabetes
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice-like symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is known to occur when the cells in the pancreas of the body start mutating in the respective DNAs. The subsequent mutations in these cells lead to the uncontrolled growth of the cells while continuing to live even after healthy cells would die. The accumulating cells can lead to the development of the tumor. 

Pancreatic cancer that is left untreated is known to spread out to the nearby organs as well as blood vessels. Most cases of pancreatic cancer are known to develop in the cells lining the ducts of the organ. This type of cancer is referred to as the pancreatic exocrine cancer or pancreatic adenocarcinoma cancer. Only in rare cases, this type of cancer is known to develop in the cells that produce hormones or the neuroendocrine cells in the pancreas.

With the overall complications involved in pancreatic cancer, the latest studies involving innovative methods to treat the disease serve hopeful to the patients all around the world.

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