New subtypes of Pancreatic Cancer

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Molecular profiling’ is one recent advancement thanks to the shift towards personalised medicine.

Molecular profiling a patient’s tumour means to work out the biological characteristics that make it unique, such as the different genes and proteins it consists of.

Every pancreatic tumour is different, and so too should be the treatments. As our understanding of Pancreatic Cancer grows researchers are learning more that different tumours react differently to treatments.

Because of this, research is fast growing on the molecular subtypes of Pancreatic Cancer, aiming towards classifying each cancer.

New research published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology has described a range of different subtypes, summarising the classifications that already exist in the current literature.

In illustrating the current landscape, the research team from the University of Glasgow talk about “dramatically different” subtypes that up until recently were almost indistinguishable.

This is important because as we move towards a consensus on what types of Pancreatic Cancer are out there, we can start to form a roadmap for precision medicine and targeted therapy.

Knowing which patients will respond best to particular treatments will improve outcomes, as tailored treatments have done so far for other diseases.

“It is really exciting to see the various molecular subtype classifications of Pancreatic Cancer from the various groups around the world, and it is the first step for us to understand the molecular pathology of Pancreatic Cancer better and know how to better predict prognosis and treatment response for patients, as it has been observed in other cancer types,” says study author Dr David Chang.

Hopefully, with further research, there will be a brighter future for everyone.

As always research is underpinned by funding and generous donations from the community, and the Avner Foundation would like to thank all those who have contributed to Pancreatic Cancer research so far.

Part of the team of scientists involved in the latest publication has worked previously on Avner-funded grant projects, including the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative.