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Friend or Foe? Dense Stroma Means to Pancreatic Cancer

Author: Zhang Qing
by Zhang Qing
Posted: Aug 22, 2014

As investigators usually think, pancreatic cancers have dense stroma that protects malignant cells from chemotherapy. However, new research shows that some elements of the stroma also fight the cancer. It thereby raises a question: What role dense stroma play to Pancreatic Cancer. "

Researches from the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center shows that some elements of the stroma fight the malignancy. It means a challenge to the traditional idea that surrounds pancreatic cancer is thought to protect and nourish the tumor.

Stroma causes two therapeutic effects of one drug

Numerous therapies that dissolve stroma are currently in development, favoring chemotherapy drugs access to malignant cells. One such drug is based on previous research that by blocking a particular pathway that drives the formation of stroma, some of the stroma dissolve. It resulted in survival improvement in mice with pancreatic cancer along with more chemo reaching the tumor. But when the drug was tested in people, the trial was unsuccessful.

Researchers were surprised to find that using the same drug in the same type of mice in a different way produced the opposite result: Mice treated with the drug succumbed sooner to their tumors. When they looked at the tumors under a microscope, the researchers found that tumors had less stroma, but it was more aggressive and made the mice sicker.

Undoubtedly, there are some elements that make good targets—but there are some elements that are not good targets. Thus, it is necessary to understand these elements in more depth before implementing large-scale clinical trials.

As a new generation of therapeutic approach, tumor immunotherapy remained a theoretical possibility for over 150 years but recently shows promise in clinical research. It is disruptive for the healthcare industry, since this approach can make it by recruiting body's immune system to remove a tumor, especially against metastatic cancers.

According to estimates of American Cancer Society, cancer affects about 12.6 million people worldwide, which makes oncology a multi-billion dollar market. The most common types of cancer include breast cancer, which impacts 75,000 US citizens per year, followed by advanced melanoma, which impacts 25,000 US residents annually.

Some pharmaceutical corporations developed new immune agents yielding higher economic returns. For instance, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY) harnessed the tumor immunotherapy technology into producing Yervoy. Yervoy’s revenues increased 36% in 2013 to $960 million and are expected to reach a total of $1.54 billion by 2018.

About the Author

Numerologist Warda is hooked on OG-L002 fishing, collecting. And lastly her encouragement comes from socializing along with her companions.

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Author: Zhang Qing

Zhang Qing

Member since: Oct 30, 2013
Published articles: 172

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