The study suggests that dependence on a single protein can hold the key to invent one of the world's deadliest cancers.
Scientists have discovered that they need the molecule to grow and spread, especially for an aggressive subtype pancreatic cancer.
Now, to increase the chances of survival of patients with the disease, they are looking for ways to suppress the protein (TP63).
Pancreatic cancer, which affects nearly 10,000 people every year in the UK, has a bad reputation as one of the deadliest cancers.
On average, a patient with pancreatic cancer will survive only two years after diagnosis.
However, some individuals with a particularly aggressive subtype of the disease live less than a year later, even earlier.
Investigators of this super-fatal pancreatic cancer subtype have found that the TP63 gene is uniquely active in tumor cells.
When writing in the Journal's Cell Reports, they state that the molecule does not belong to pancreatic cells.
P63 normally plays a role in the production of squamous cells, long thin cells required for skin formation.
But in pancreatic tumors, the cancer version of the protein – TP63 – boosted out-of-control growth and helped spread the disease to the body.
The good news was that cancer appeared to be linked to the molecule for continued survival, increasing the prospects for the development of targeted therapies.
The leading scientist from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. Timothy Somerville, 39 Cancer cells are so dependent on P63 and they need P63 to grow continuously.
”So we're looking at approaches to suppress the progressive P63 activity as a treatment option for patients.“
Another aim for the team is to first discover how the gene in the pancreas has become active.
. If we can stop this without stopping, it can be really good for the most vulnerable cancer group to survive, Dr Dr. Somerville said.
– Press Association