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Israeli researchers find treatment for lethal pancreatic cancer

An image of the body with the pancreas in red (Image: Shutterstock)

An Israeli research team from Hebrew University of Jerusalem has reportedly discovered a potential treatment for pancreatic cancer, a lethal form of the disease. 

The groundbreaking study, published by science journal "Nature" on Wednesday, was conducted in partnership with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University, New York’s Cornell University and Toronto University in Canada. 

Following a comparative study of 400 non-metastatic pancreatic tumor growths with metastatic growth cells, the researchers discovered that changes in RNA molecule processes within cells allegedly cause the metastatic transformation of growths. 

Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine Prof. Rotem Karni, who led the study, explained the groundbreaking results. 

“The study’s findings for the first time explain the molecular basis (which isn’t genetic) for the transformation of cancer cells into invasive pancreatic cells and propose two ways of treatment: a known drug that inhibits a pathway affected by RBFOX2, or RNA-based therapy that intervenes in the RNA process affected by RBFOX2 to treat invasive pancreatic cancer,” Karni said

“Our unique findings demonstrate that the disappearance of RBFOX2 protein causes hundreds of genes to produce RNAs and proteins in a different way, which contributes to the invasive capabilities of the cancer cells,” he added. 

Pancreatic cancer is more common among men than women and is considered one of the most lethal cancers in the world. While pancreatic cancer constitutes approximately 3% of all registered cancer cases in Western countries, it is responsible for approximately 7% of all cancer-related deaths. 

Fewer than 10% of pancreatic cancer patients survive more than a couple of years. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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