Gene beats pancreatic cancer

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In research with mice, US scientists found that a mutant gene called Bik can shrink or kill pancreatic tumors. Bik produces a protein that forces cancer cells to kill themselves, said the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre team.

The finding, published this week in the journal Cancer Cell, offers hope for a new treatment for one of the deadliest human cancers, Agence France-Presse reported.

"This looks like a promising approach to gene therapy for pancreatic cancer and we are working to bring it to a clinical trial," said James Abbruzzese, professor and chairman of the department of gastrointestinal oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre.

"There are no good options for pancreatic cancer patients now," said Abbruzzese, who estimated that it will take one to two years to complete US Food and Drug Administration requirements for a phase I clinical trial in humans, AFP reported.

About 96 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within five years of diagnosis, one of the lowest cancer survival rates. – (HealthDayNews)

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July 2007

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