New Mayo Clinic research to help pancreatic cancer patients

One of the authors said their research is making strides in understanding all cancers better.

Posted: Jun. 19, 2018 8:50 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s research from Mayo Clinic that will help doctors with treatment plans for their patients with pancreatic cancer.

Researchers have found specific genetic mutations linked to pancreatic cancer. Because they found them in patients with no history of the disease, they’re recommending genetic testing.

“As we understand more about these genetic targets in these sub-populations of tumors, we can improve pancreatic cancer outcomes by really understanding the basic biology of the tumors and how they work,” Robert McWilliams, a professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic and one of the authors of the study, said.

McWilliams said their research is making strides in understanding all cancers better.

“A lot of these genes actually overlap with other types of cancer - breast cancer, melanoma, colon cancer,” McWilliams said. “So increased understanding of these genes, how they work, and the risks that people have who carry them can help us improve therapy for all these types of cancer.”

Researchers say the next step is taking this new knowledge and steering patients towards the appropriate clinical trial.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 55,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 44,000 will die from the disease.

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