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Pancreatic cancer gene discovery

May 01, 2012
These results raise the possibility that a class of promising new cancer drugs may be effective at treating some pancreatic cancers”
- Dr Julie Sharp Cancer Research UK

Less than one in five people with this form of cancer are still alive a year after being diagnosed. A recent discovery has revealed that a gene was being switched off in the cancerous cells and now new drugs are being developed to switch it back on.

Prof David Tuveson, from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute, said: "We suspected that the fault wasn't in the genetic code at all, but in the chemical tags on the surface of the DNA that switch genes on and off, and by running more lab tests we were able to confirm this.

"Drugs which strip away these tags are already showing promise in lung cancer and this study suggests they could also be effective."

Dr David Adams, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "This study strengthens our emerging understanding that we must also look into the biology of cells to identify all the genes that play a role in cancer."

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