How Pancreatic Cancer Defies Treatment; New Work Suggests Epigenetic Modulator SMARCD3 May Be “Exciting New Target for Potential Therapies”

Pancreatic cancer cells (nuclei in blue) are shown growing as a sphere encased in membranes (red). (Credit: National Cancer Institute).
Pancreatic cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the United States, after lung and colorectal, though far less common. It is also among the hardest to effectively treat, with pancreatic cancer stem cells quickly developing resistance to conventional and targeted treatments, such as chemotherapy and emerging immunotherapies. As a result, the 5-year survival rate for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is just 10%. In a new paper, published January 18, 2023 in Nature Communications, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, reveal another way in which the most-resistant pancreatic cancer cells defy treatment by leveraging a member of a group of proteins that ordinarily might suppress tumors to instead help cancer cells evade therapy and grow more quickly. The open-access article is titled “Smarcd3 Is an Epigenetic Modulator of the Metabolic Landscape in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.”
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