Posted on March 2nd, 2009 No comments
Researchers from the Multidisciplinary Pancreatic Cancer Clinic at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a gene that is overexpressed in 90 percent of pancreatic cancers, the most deadly type of cancer.
Expression of the gene, Ataxia Telangiectasia Group D Complementing gene, called ATDC, is on average 20 times higher in pancreatic cancer cells than in cells from a normal pancreas. What’s more, the gene appears to make pancreatic cancer cells resistant to current therapies.
“One of the challenges in pancreatic cancer is that it is biologically aggressive and it does not respond well to chemotherapy or radiation. We found that ATDC not only causes the cancer cells to grow faster and be more aggressive, but it also makes the cancer cells particularly resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. By targeting this gene, we may be able to make cancer cells more sensitive to the therapies we already have in hand,” says senior study author Diane Simeone, M.D., director of the Multidisciplinary Pancreatic Cancer Clinic.