A new discovery by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues has clarified the long-established connection between inflammation and pancreatic cancer development. According to the study published online on September 17, 2021 in Science, pancreatic cells display an adaptive response to repeated inflammatory episodes that initially protects against tissue damage, but can promote tumor formation in the presence of mutant KRAS. The authors demonstrated that mutant KRAS--which is found in roughly 95% of all pancreatic cancers--supports this adaptive response, leading to selective pressure to maintain the cancer-causing mutation. The Science article is titled "Epithelial Memory of Inflammation Limits Tissue Damage While Promoting Pancreatic Tumorigenesis."
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