(CTN News) – One of the most aggressive and lethal forms of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is also among the most difficult to treat.
In the treatment of pancreatic cancer, chemotherapy is the primary systemic treatment.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), targeted therapy and immunotherapy are sometimes used to treat certain types of cancer.
The majority of people diagnosed with PDAC die within five years of their diagnosis.
In the meantime, a new finding may lead to a new way to treat PDAC.
A game-changing treatment option for PDAC
In mice, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists discovered a strong link between SRSF1 and pancreatic cancer.
In the study, Adrian Krainer, PhD, at CSHL, led the team that identified SRSF1 as the culprit for inflammation or pancreatitis.
The development of PDAC tumors is accelerated as a result.
Krainer says cells have several mechanisms to maintain SRSF1 levels, but cancer tends to overcome them.
SRSF1 levels are maintained in cells by several genes, RNAs, and proteins. Disruptions can, however, occur from time to time. The result is pancreatitis and PDAC, according to him.
“It is a very pronounced effect,” Krainer said in a press release. We found that patients whose tumors expressed higher levels of SRSF1 had poorer outcomes. In order to determine the extent to which SRSF1 contributes to PDAC, we set out to find out.
Growth of cancer tumors is affected by SRSF1
In mice and organoids – which are miniaturized tumors – higher levels of SRSF1 are necessary for PDAC growth.
SRSF1 returned to normal levels and the organoids stopped growing.
The fact that SRSF1 is important in healthy tissues could make it a difficult drug target alone, but some splicing changes that SRF1 promotes may make it possible to target them instead.
During pancreatic cancer, cells grow out of control in the organ.
This organ is located behind the stomach and produces enzymes and hormones that assist digestion and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
The American Association for Cancer Research reported, “SRSF1’s ability to regulate so many complex biologic pathways has repeatedly surprised and intrigued investigators.”
A possible treatment based on this data could be developed in the future
Herve Tiriac, PhD, is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego Health. Based on his review of the data, he believes it may assist in developing future treatments for pancreatic cancer.
It is an interesting finding that may lead to further research regarding pancreatic cancer and other cancers, he explained to Healthline. Despite the fact that splicing is an essential regulatory element of our healthy cells, dysregulation of splicing in pancreatic cancer is largely unknown.
According to Tiriac, “This study lays the groundwork for future studies that target druggable vulnerabilities to kill pancreatic cancer cells with aberrant splicing.”
Cancer risks associated with pancreatic disease
An individual’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer can be significantly influenced by certain factors, such as inherited gene mutations.
The cancer usually has spread by the time it is identified.
According to the American Cancer Society, 64,050 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2023, and about 50,550 people will die from it (26,620 men and 23,930 women).