Scientists reprogrammed human pancreatic cancer cells to quiescent acinar like cells
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a fatal malignancy and one of the most difficult human cancers to treat. Medical science has made great strides in the early diagnosis and treatment of many other type of cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. However, the prognosis of pancreatic cancer remains an elusive clinical challenge largely because of the difficulty of making an early diagnosis. Patients with pancreatic cancer typically develop very few symptoms in the early stage, which could easily mislead physicians. The lethal nature of this cancer makes it the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with a median survival of less than 6 months and a dismal 5-years survival rate of 3%–5%. So far, no curative treatments are available to treat advanced stages of this disease. Surgery offers only a minimal chance to cure pancreatic cancer; however, less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are considered for surgical resection. Chemoradiotherapy and radiation have shown some success in reducing tumor growth and prolonging patients' life spans, but the beneficial effects of these treatments are limited in long run.