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    Shanghai Study Unlocks Key to Better Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

    Published recently in a peer-reviewed international journal, the new study could help minimize the side effects of treatment and potentially improve survival rates for patients battling this aggressive cancer.

    In a groundbreaking study that could revolutionize the treatment of pancreatic cancer, researchers in Shanghai have identified two biomarkers that can help predict patient sensitivity to chemotherapy.

    This breakthrough could enable personalized treatments, minimizing unnecessary side effects and potentially improving survival rates and quality of life for patients battling this aggressive cancer, which historically has had low survival rates.

    The study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal “Nature Medicine” on March 19, was led by Shen Baiyong’s team at the Pancreatic Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Center of Ruijin Hospital and the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Pancreatic Cancer Translational Research.

    According to Jiemian News, Shen’s team discovered two important biomarkers, NDUFB8 and CEMIP2, which can potentially predict how well patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) respond to chemotherapy given after surgery.

    The discovery addresses a major challenge in treating PDAC, the most prevalent form of pancreatic tumors, making up over 90% of all pancreatic cancer cases. It also enables patients with operable and chemotherapy-responsive pancreatic cancer to receive chemotherapy before surgery.

    According to the study, the biomarkers’ effectiveness has been independently confirmed through advanced testing techniques on tissue samples from three separate patient groups in France, the Shanghai Cancer Center, and Changhai Hospital, also in Shanghai, demonstrating its potential.

    In creating a model to predict the risk and progression of PDAC, the team used advanced, comprehensive techniques to study the protein profiles of 191 patients, tracked over more than three years.

    Pancreatic cancer ranks among China’s top 10 most common cancers. In 2022 alone, the country reported about 118,700 new cases and 106,300 deaths from the disease, according to the National Cancer Center of China. It is notorious for its late detection, quick progression, and grim outlook, with a five-year survival rate of between just 5% and 10%.

    Fan Jia, a hepatologist and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, lauded the study for showcasing the significant role of proteomics — the study of proteins. “This study demonstrates the application value of proteomics in large-scale clinical prospective treatment research, marking the entrance of proteomics-driven precision diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer into a new era,” he stated in a press release from Ruijing Hospital.

    Editor: Apurva.

    (Header image: VCG)