The Gene Related To Higher Pancreatic Cancer Risk Already Determined

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Cancer has accounted for the physical and emotional burdens from which patients suffer and for many deaths across the globe. It is indeed a life-threatening disease which necessitates prompt intervention. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths all over the world; also, it has a poor prognosis. In the US, about 143,000 people were diagnosed to have pancreatic cancer and 37,000 died from it. This is truly a pressing concern, especially for those people who have a genetic predisposition to such disease. Studies have been continuously conducted to provide a clearer picture about this type of cancer so that more cases may be prevented and more lives be saved.

According to the information published in Cancer Discovery (the newest American Association for Cancer Research’s journal), mutations involving the ATM gene may augment the genetic risk for pancreatic malignancy. Pancreatic cancer, indeed, is a life-threatening disease, in which less than five percent of the diagnosed patients only survive for about five years. Moreover, an estimate of ten percent of the patients was from families having several cases of pancreatic malignancy.

Lead author Alison Klein, PhD, Johns Hopkins- Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center associate professor for oncology and National Familial Tumor Registry, stated that there was a meaningful reason in thinking that these cases were because of genetics. She further admitted that up to now, they have not yet discovered the pancreatic cancer-causing genes that can elaborate the cluster of pancreatic malignancy for most of the families. Furthermore, next-generation sequencing was utilized by Klein and her team that involved whole genome and whole exome analyses. They also determined ATM gene mutations in two relatives or family members having familial pancreatic cancer.

The first study findings had been studied in a great series for the patients. The investigators found the presence of ATM mutations in four out of 166 participants with pancreatic cancer, while in the 190 spousal control subsets, these were not evident.

Furthermore, Klein articulated that with the knowledge of ATM gene’s presence, this can result to an improved screening strategy for pancreatic malignancy and may significantly encourage survival. Nonetheless, no recommended screening tests are yet present. Moreover, health care providers currently make use of endoscopy as a means for screening pancreatic cancer, although researchers are still in performing evaluation of this method through clinical trials. This study can be useful for other future researches related to this malignancy.




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