According to some sources, the protective wall that forms around the tumour over the course of pancreatic cancer treatment is one of the most significant obstacles to successful treatment. This “desmoplastic stroma” acts as a barrier, preventing chemotherapy from reaching the tumour. The UT (University of Twente) researchers have found which section of the stroma may be targeted for assault. In addition, they discovered a peptide that can mimic the actions of an assault on the body. The findings of the study were published in the journal Science Advances, and they indicated that with a combination of the peptide and cytostatics, the tumour volume might be reduced by a significant amount. The first therapeutic research will be able to be completed in a few years.
Pancreatic cancer, it appears, has the lowest overall survival rate of all cancers. Following the diagnosis, which is usually made too late, the majority of individuals die within 3–4 months of being diagnosed. In many circumstances, surgery to remove a tumour is not practical due to the risk of harming other vital organs during the procedure. As a result of the tumour cells being surrounded by fibroblasts and a fibrous matrix arrangement known as desmoplastic stroma, which can be larger in size than the tumour cells, chemotherapy combined with gemcitabine is frequently ineffective in treating the tumour. Jai Prakash, from the University of Texas, and his team investigated if it was feasible to shrink the stroma and identify the critical parts that might be addressed. Following multiple comparative investigations, it was shown that a protein known as ITGA5 (integrin alpha 5) was critical in determining the survival rate of persons with pancreatic cancer.
On a related topic, a research published recently revealed that less toxic and longer-lasting medications may be more effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In contrast to numerous other malignancies, the majority of pancreatic tumours are as solid as a rock. “That is one of the reasons why pancreatic cancer is one of the worst kinds of cancer,” said Kenneth Olive, an Associate Professor at Columbia University, in a statement. When pancreatic tumours form, they recruit a thick layer of connective tissue known as stroma, which coagulates the tumour and serves as a protective shield against the tumor’s growth. As a result, the majority of chemotherapy drugs are unable to accumulate to the levels necessary for them to be effective.”