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August 6, 2019

New Target for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Shows Potential

JAMA. 2019;322(5):391-392. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.10165

Pancreatic cancer’s poor prognosis can be attributed in part to its treatment resistance due to the dense stroma that surrounds and shields tumor cells. New research in Nature identifies a protein critical for stromal and pancreatic cancer cell communication that when blocked slowed cancer progression and improved treatment efficacy in mouse models of pancreatic cancer.

Previous work had shown that communication between pancreatic stellate cells—which are typically dormant in normal tissue—and pancreatic cancer cells enhances tumor progression and sustains stellate cell activation, causing the cells to secrete proteins that form a shell around the tumor.