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New Treatment Technique for Pancreatic Cancer is Discovered

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were 42,478 new cases of pancreatic cancer reported in 2009, resulting in 35,240 deaths. Along with head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer happens to be one of the few ill-treated cancer types. The prognosis is relatively poor but has improved in recent times. 30 percent of people diagnosed with this disease survive for 3 years. Only 5 percent of patients survive for 5 years. Cases of complete recovery from pancreatic cancer is very rare.

Researchers at the University of Kent’s School of Biosciences have discovered a treatment technique which promises to effectively treat this cancer without any side effects. The technique was announced by Cancer Research Technology (CRT) — Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) commercialisation and development arm and is licensed by Aura Biosciences Inc, a US-based company from CRT. This article tries to gain further insight on this topic.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • Naturally present chemical substances called Proteins provide nourishment to our cells.
  • The chemical structure of proteins is made up of Amino acids molecules.
  • Mostly these structures are in the form of chains. Short chains of amino acids are called peptides and the long chains are called proteins.
  • Even the malignant cancer cells forming the tumour get their nourishment from certain proteins absent in healthy human cells.
  • The technique involves targeting certain peptides to these proteins.
  • The peptides bind with these proteins which are found in high levels on many tumour cells.
  • The structure of these peptides is three dimensional and this helps the molecules to effectively attach with the proteins.
  • It was learnt from the study that shape of the peptide and its effectiveness in treating cancer was closely linked.
  • The treatment is effective because the peptides can search and get attached to the proteins of the cancer cells, destroying them with precision and with very low side effects.
  • Unlike other cancer treatment techniques like radiotherapy or chemotherapy, this technique does not cause any harm to the healthy cells surrounding the malignant tumour.
  • According to the researchers, this technique has potential to prove handy in tumour imaging and therapy for effective identification and eradication of them.

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