| 16 July 2022
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous and difficult to diagnose types of pancreatic cancer. (Photo: clone)
A recent study published in Nature shows that increased levels of the GREM1 protein in pancreatic cancerous cancer cells can prevent them from growing and causing metastasis (spreading throughout the body).
According to the Inca National Cancer Institute, pancreatic cancer has a violent behavior and is difficult to detect. For this reason, it is diagnosed late and has a high mortality rate. In Brazil, cancer in this organ is responsible for about 2% of all diagnoses of the disease and for 4% of all deaths.
Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in London combined their efforts to study pancreatic cancer in mice and in “small pancreatic tumors”, called organelles, to detail a gene that disrupts the GREM1 protein and, in turn, enables the disease to spread.
Scientists have discovered that by stopping GREM1, cancer cells undergo rapid, negative change: they gain the ability to invade new tissues and migrate throughout the body. According to the study, in just ten days, they all changed, becoming more dangerous and invasive.
In addition, the closure increased the potential for tumors to spread. The researchers also tested mice with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) – the most common and severe form of the disease – and showed that without GREM1, 90% of them developed tumors that metastasized to the liver.
In cases where the protein was functioning normally, only 15% reached this state.
malignant tumor mass
The researchers also showed that by taking the opposite approach, that is, instead of stopping the GREM1 protein and increasing its levels, the process of metastasis could be reversed and the invading cells take a less dangerous form.
“This is an important and fundamental discovery that opens a new avenue for discovering treatments for pancreatic cancer. We have shown that it is possible to reverse the fate of cells in pancreatic cancer in the laboratory – turning back the clock for aggressive tumors and turning them into a condition that makes it easier to treat,” said Axel Berns, senior author the study. and Cancer Stem Cell Team Leader at the Institute of Cancer Research, in a statement.
“Writer. Analyst. Avid travel maven. Devoted twitter guru. Unapologetic pop culture expert. General zombie enthusiast.”