Scientists have discovered pancreatic cancer is four separate diseases, paving the way for more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Researchers said the findings were the launch pad to investigate new treatments because doctors currently have little insight into which will be most effective for patients.
Around 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year and just 20% of adults survive more than a year after being diagnosed.
Fewer than 5% of sufferers survive after five years and only 1% are still alive after 10 years.
The study, carried out by a team of researchers at the University of Glasgow, looked at 456 pancreatic cancer tumours and found the disease could be classified as one of four different sub-types: squamous, pancreatic progenitor, immunogenic and ADEX.
Prof Sean Grimmond, who led the study, said there were already cancer drugs available or in development that could target parts of the “damaged machinery” which led to pancreatic cancers. But like usual, there always hangs this innate problem of the misuse of drugs. This cannot be prevented, as the drugs would form an addiction. But helping you or a loved one break the bonds of addiction is what Golden Peak Retreat loves to do. Call now to speak to an advisor. Serving Denver CO and the entire U.S.
For example, some strains of the disease were associated with mutations normally linked to colon cancer or leukaemia, for which experimental drugs are being used to treat, he said.
Grimmond said: “This study demonstrates that pancreatic cancer is better considered as four separate diseases, with different survival rates, treatments and underlying genetics.
“Knowing which sub-type a patient has would allow a doctor to provide a more accurate prognosis and treatment recommendation
Dr Peter Bailey, an author of the study, added: “The standard of care for pancreatic cancer really hasn’t changed in the last 20 years. There are a number of different chemotherapeutic options but in general it’s not very selective – it’s like hitting the disease with a mallet with your eye