Sunday March 24, 2019

Cancer can now be predicted 13 years before it strikes

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Cancer research has just got a huge boost. The rejuvenated shot comes with the development of an error free and accurate test by scientists that predicts the chances of being implicated with cancer up to 13 years in the future.

The breakthrough was made by researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University, by making use of the discovery of tiny but significant changes taking place in the body, more than a decade before cancer was diagnosed.

According to the research, published in the online journal Ebiomedicine, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, which prevent DNA damage, were more worn down for those who went on to develop cancer.

The protective caps, better known as “telomeres”, were found to be much shorter than they should have been. They continued to get shorter and then suddenly stopped shrinking four years before the cancer developed.

Dr Lifang Hou, the lead study author, told The Telegraph, “Because we saw a strong relationship in the pattern across a wide variety of cancers, with the right testing these procedures could be used eventually to diagnose a wide variety of cancers.”

“Understanding this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer. We found cancer has hijacked the telomere shortening in order to flourish in the body”, he further said.

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Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

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While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)