PARIS — Scientists have identified a gene that slows the spread of pancreatic cancer tumours, paving the way for targeted treatment of one of the deadliest forms of the disease, said a paper published Sunday.
After discovering the gene dubbed USP9X at work in a study of pancreatic cancer in mice, the international research team found it also played a role in humans.
“We looked in human tumour specimens and we found that it was missing in a fraction of patients — the patients that did very poorly … the people who died the fastest,” researcher David Tuveson told AFP.
“Patients that had a low level of the gene expressed … they died very quickly after their operation and the patients who at the end of their life had lots of metastasis (spreading of the cancer), they had also a very low level of this protein.”
The existence of the gene, which is found in all of our cells but goes missing in some tumours, was known before but not its role as a cancer suppressor, said Tuveson.
Three other pancreatic tumour suppressor genes are known to exist, but this is the one whose absence “probably causes metastasis — that is what kills people with pancreas cancer,” said the scientist.
The discovery means that “we can wake up the gene by using drugs” known as epigenetic modulators, he added.
“Our observation allows us to potentially treat people that have lost this gene in the pancreas tumours. It allows us to offer a therapy for the patients that actually have the worst prognosis.”
Tuveson said these kinds of drugs have already been developed, “but people haven’t figured out where exactly they would be useful.
“We are proposing that these drugs would be useful in this subset of pancreas cancer patients.”
Pancreatic cancer kills about 96 percent of its victims within five years of diagnosis, one of the lowest cancer survival rates.
Early diagnosis is difficult, so the disease is often discovered only after it has already spread.
Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report
On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.
"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."
Republican freaks out after Democrat quotes Trump’s racist statement on the floor of Congress
Chaos continued on the floor of the House of Representatives during the debate on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four young women of color.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) rose to support the resolution, listing multiple instances of racism from the commander-in-chief.
As part of the list, Swalwell noted Trump's attacks on "sh*thole countries."
After he swore on the floor by quoting the president, Republicans freaked out.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) complained and got in a back-and-forth with Swalwell.
Collins sought to have Swalwell's words stricken from the Congressional Record, which would have banned him from speaking for the rest of the day.
‘He’s ignorant — not stupid’: NYT columnist says Trump is trying to ‘bait’ Democrats because he wants to run against AOC
President Donald Trump is not going to get the 2020 opponent he wants, so he's going to pretend that his actual opposition is being led by the four young women in Congress known as The Squad, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote on Tuesday.
Trump has spent the last few days with racist attacks on the four first-term members, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).