About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Potent Biomarker for Pancreatic Cancer Identified

by Sheela Philomena on April 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Font : A-A+

 Potent Biomarker for Pancreatic Cancer Identified

Survivin protein serves as a useful tool in understanding pancreatic cancer, say scientists.

In a recent study of pancreatic cancer patients who had undergone tumor resection, the scientists found that patients who underwent different treatment regimens, following surgery, had different levels of survivin and experienced different lengths of disease-free survival.

Advertisement

"Biomarkers for pancreatic cancer are especially useful because the survival is so poor and it's such a bad disease for people to get," says Saad Khan, M.D., a medical oncology fellow at Fox Chase. "We're looking for biomarkers that tell us how the cancer will behave, whether or not it's a more aggressive type that will spread to different parts of the body. Most importantly for our research, we want to see if there are drugs that work better in patients with survivin than in those who don't have it."

They first studied cancerous tissues from 88 patients who had had pancreatic tumors, as well as nearby lymph nodes, surgically removed at Fox Chase. The researchers found higher levels of survivin in the cells from the lymph nodes than in the cells from the primary tumor. They went on to measure survivin in cells from 60 patients, of the original 88, who had undergone chemotherapy or radiation after surgery. The patients with higher levels of survivin lived longer periods of time before the cancer returned. The connection was strongest and statistically significant in patients who received the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, though the researchers found similarly suggestive trends among patients who received radiation therapy or 5-FU.
Advertisement

"We found that when there was a higher amount of survivin expressed in the nucleus, there was significantly longer disease-free survival for all patients," says Khan. "In terms of overall survival, patients treated with chemotherapy or radiation did better when they had higher amounts of survivin which goes against what we'd expected, but this did not achieve statistical significance. Our results suggest that people with higher levels of survivin responded better to specific chemotherapies."

Survivin—which is readily detectable in cancerous and embryonic tissues but not in most healthy tissue—is a protein that blocks apoptosis, or cell death. Because of its strong association with cancer, researchers have long sought ways to use survivin to better understand and treat the disease.

"Survivin has been looked at quite carefully in many cancers," Khan says, "but there's been no clear information about how it is expressed in a large number of pancreatic cells."

Khan, finishing up his third year of medical oncology training, came up with the idea to study survivin with his mentor, Barbara A. Burtness, M.D., associate director for clinical research and professor of medical oncology at Fox Chase. The researchers used a surgical specimens linked to a patient database prepared by coauthor and surgical oncologist John P. Hoffmann, M.D.

It's too early to know how useful survivin will be as a prognostic indicator. Khan says the next step is to study more pancreatic cancer samples and try to understand all the different variables that can impact a person's survival. The researchers have also started studying survivin in other tumor samples, including those from patients treated for head and neck cancers.

"There's a lot of work being done in biomarkers for more aggressive cancers, like pancreatic," Khan says. "We are hoping to find ways to improve on existing chemotherapies, which are ineffective for controlling disease for a significant period of time,"

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Pancreatic Cancer Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Pancreatitis Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant Whipple´s Surgical Procedure Pancreas Transplantation 

Recommended Reading
Quiz on Pancreas
Pancreas is both an endocrine and an exocrine organ. It secretes insulin, which is required for ......
Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis in Diabetic Patients can be Improved by Metformin
A new study indicates that metformin may improve survival in patients with diabetes and pancreatic ....
Pancreatic Cancer Patients Find Electrical Pulse Treatment Promising
Ray of hope for people with inoperable locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) according to ......
Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases
Cigarette smoking, unhealthy diets, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity are some of the most...
Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant
What is dandelion? Dandelion greens are nutrition powerhouses with a wide range of health benefits. ...
Pancreas Transplantation
Pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure involving the replacement of a dysfunctional pancreas in...
Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often involves its exocrine part. It grows aggressively, and often detected late. ...
Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas may show up as acute pancreatitis or chronic pain. Alco...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)