Pancreatic cancer, ranking third among the leading causes of cancer-related fatalities in the United States, exhibited a meager 12% 5-year relative survival rate, presenting formidable challenges due to its highly metastatic nature, absence of screening methods and resistance to existing chemotherapy.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) stands out as the most prevalent and formidable variant of pancreatic cancer.
In a recent investigation by scholars at the University of California, scientists pinpointed an atypical expression of the Engrailed-1 (EN1) protein that contributes to the advancement and metastasis of pancreatic cancer.
Unraveling its mechanisms would assist researchers in pinpointing potential targets and enhancing patient survival.
Metastasis, a pivotal facet of pancreatic cancer advancement, has proven intricate to trace back to distinct genetic mutations.
Acknowledging this challenge, researchers, led by Chang-Il Hwang, delved into non-genetic factors like epigenetic alterations or modified protein synthesis.
The team uncovered heightened transcription factors in metastasized pancreatic cancers compared to primary tumors.
Notably, among these proteins, EN1 took center stage, typically vital for neuron survival during development and not ordinarily produced in adult pancreatic cells.