Researchers have identified a new protein that can check the growth of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer develops very fast and without many symptoms from which it can be identified. The cancer often resists interventions like chemotherapy and may be diagnosed at a time when even surgery may not be able to help the patients.
Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School, US, have found a protein that inactivates the mechanism to suppress the growth of the cells. TGF-beta molecules regulate the growth of cells and stops cells from spreading quickly.
Researchers have found that a molecule called Smad7, which is found in the pancreas of some of the humans, can interfere with the functions of TGF-beta molecules by suppressing the function of the retinoblastoma proteins. The protein molecule Smad7 may also encourage the rapid growth of TGF-ƒÒ molecules that spreads the growing cancer.
Researchers are hopeful of finding a procedure that will affect the ability of the Smad7 protein from affecting the retinoblastoma proteins. The new research also sets the pathway for developing drugs that will target on increasing the function of retinoblastoma proteins that will remain unaffected in the face of attack from the Smad7 cells and thus will help in controlling the growth process of pancreatic cancer.
Reference: Journal of Biological Chemistry, June 2005