Washington: A joint Indo-US team of scientists have discovered a new way of treating pancreatic cancer by identifying a receptor whose activation may be responsible for some types of the disease.
The team of scientists from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and Institute of Bioinformatics in Bangalore identified a receptor called phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor (pEGFR), whose activation may be responsible for some pancreatic cancers.
The new personalised therapy involves targeting the receptor, which is the activated form of a protein that binds to Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), which promotes cell growth and differentiation.
When EGF attaches to EGFR, it activates it as a tyrosine kinase enzyme, triggering reactions that cause cells to grow and multiply, a press release by the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center stated.
EGFR is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, which may divide excessively in the presence of EGF, it said.
In a new study, published online in the Journal of Proteome Research, the researchers suggest that physicians potentially could test patients for signs of pEGFR, then direct therapies such as EGFR inhibitors directly at the signal pathway its part of to shrink or prevent pancreatic tumors.