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Shanghai researchers discover gene mutation causing a form of pancreatic cancer

A DISCOVERY that at least some forms of pancreatic cancer are caused by the mutation of a gene has been made by scientists at Shanghai No. 10 People’s Hospital, a finding published in a leading medical journal, Nature Medicine.

Pancreatic cancer is rising quickly in Shanghai. Its incidence grew 150 percent in the past 20 years, and it is one of the top ten cancers to afflict both men and women in the city.

It is notoriously difficult to detect early. Most patients have no symptoms in the early stage and are diagnosed too late for effective treatment. Fewer than 10 percent of victims survive for more than five years.

In the research conducted by Lu Yanjun, her team found all samples of adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas, one type of pancreatic cancer, had a mutation on gene UPF1 and found the mutation plays an important role in the cancer’s formation, development and spread.

“This cancer was first reported 100 years ago, but it always remained a mystery,” Lu said. “Knowing the mutation of UPF1 will offer a quick diagnosis measure and target for future medication.”


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