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Scientists Find Way to Reverse Chemo Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Pancreatic cancer is particularly aggressive and difficult to treat, partly because it's often resistant to chemotherapy.

Researchers now think they know why chemo struggles to work against pancreatic cancer"and how to reverse that resistance.

It turns out that the physical stiffness of the...

Timing of Chemo Could Be Key to Pancreatic Cancer Outcomes

Giving people with pancreatic cancer chemotherapy both before and after a tumor-removing surgery brought better outcomes than if they got the drugs only after the surgery, new research shows.

Researchers at the Yale Cancer Center (YCC) and Yale School of Medicine focused on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which accounts for 90% of pancreatic cancers.

Because it is ...

Blood Test Spots Early Pancreatic Cancers With 97% Accuracy

A blood test appears capable of detecting early-stage pancreatic cancers with up to 97% accuracy, a new study reports.

The test looks for eight small RNA particles and eight larger DNA markers shed by pancreatic cancers, which together create a genetic "signature"for the disease, researchers said.

Currently, it's tough to catch pancreatic cancer before it has reached an advanced sta...

Therapeutic Vaccine Prevents Pancreatic Cancer's Recurrence in 3-Year Trial

A pancreatic cancer vaccine has continued to protect a small group of patients from their cancer coming back, three years after receiving the jab, a new study says.

Eight patients have not had their pancreatic cancer recur for three years after their immune systems responded to the vaccine, which is called autogene cevumeran, researchers reported Sunday at a meeting of the American Associ...

Immunotherapy Before Surgery Might Boost Pancreatic Cancer Survival

Pancreatic cancer patients may do better if they receive an immunotherapy drug as well as chemotherapy in preparation for surgery, new research suggests.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the toughest to treat. Only 12% of patients live more than five years after diagnosis. Most therapies -- including chemo, targeted therapies and immunotherapies -- are unsuccessful.

For this study, rese...

Fat Around Men's Pancreas Might Raise Odds for Alzheimer's

Excess fat around your pancreas could bode ill for the health of your aging brain, new research shows.

But maybe only if you're male: The relationship wasn't observed among women, noted the team from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

"In middle-aged males at high Alzheimer's disease risk -- but not females --higher pancreatic fat was associated with lower cognition and brain...

Five-Year Survival for Pancreatic Cancer Has Risen to 13%

Pancreatic cancer is known as a 'silent killer' because it's usually only detected in its later stages.

But there's a glimmer of good news for patients: The five-year survival rate for people with the disease has crept up to 13%, according to 2024 statistics from the American Cancer Society released Wedn...

U.S. Cancer Death Rates Are Falling, But News Isn't All Good

Cancer deaths continue to decline in the United States, with more than 4 million deaths prevented since 1991, a new report shows.

But more people are developing cancers than ever, making the dreaded disease a continued threat to human health, according to the new report

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 17, 2024
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  • Therapeutic Vaccine Could Fight Pancreatic Cancer

    Patients with the most common form of pancreatic cancer could benefit from an experimental therapeutic vaccine, a small new clinical trial shows.

    The vaccine, called ELI-002 for now, is targeted to what are known as KRAS-mutated solid tumors. Over 90% of pancreatic tumors have a mutation in the KRAS gene that could give rise to malignancy.

    "It's early, but we saw some promising resu...

    Science Reveals Link Between Obesity, Diabetes & Pancreatic Cancer Risk

    Having high insulin levels may be more than tough to manage when you have diabetes: New research shows it also appears to raise the risk of pancreatic cancer.

    In the study, scientists found excessive insulin levels overstimulated pancreatic acinar cells, which produce digestive juices. This overstimulation triggers inflammation that turns these cells into precancerous cells.


    Could Ativan Pose Harm to People Battling Pancreatic Cancer?

    Sometimes patients with pancreatic cancer are prescribed the benzodiazepine lorazepam (Ativan) for anxiety, but that may be harming their health.

    A new study found this treatment was linked to worse outcomes, with shorter survival times and faster disease progression.

    Alternatively, those who took alprazolam (Xanax) had a significantly longer progression-free survival than patient...

    Cancers, Especially Gastro Tumors, Are Rising Among Americans Under 50

    Breast, colon and pancreatic cancer rates are increasing at concerning rates among America's young adults, a new study finds.

    Breast cancer accounted for the most cases in adults under 50 between 2010 and 2019, but gastrointestinal cancer rates grew fastest among the early-onset cancers studied.

    Senior researcher

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 16, 2023
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  • Certain Cancers on the Rise Among Hispanic Americans

    Cancer death rates among Hispanic Americans have declined in general over the past two decades, but for certain cancers the outlook has only gotten worse, a new study finds.

    First, the good news: Thanks to improvements in screening, diagnosis and treatment -- and a decline in smoking -- the U.S. cancer death rate has been dropping for years. And the new study found that this is true of Hi...

    Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Slow-Growing and Often Curable

    Pancreatic cancer is often considered a death sentence, typically aggressive and usually caught late, but there is one type of pancreatic cancer that is far more treatable.

    While over 90% of pancreatic cancers are adenocarcinomas, the most aggressive and deadly type, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are usually slow-growing and can often be cured by surgery alone. Though these le...

    • Pamela L. Kunz, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology); Yale School of Medicine HealthDay Reporter
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    • June 19, 2023
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    Minimally Invasive Surgery May Be Good Option for People With Pancreatic Cancer

    Minimally invasive surgery works just as well as full-scale open surgery in removing early-stage pancreatic cancers, allowing patients a faster recovery with less infection risk, a new clinical trial has found.

    The ability to remove all the cancer and the rate of cancer recurrence was essentially the same between the two groups, said lead researcher

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 26, 2023
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  • Vaccine Slows Return of Pancreatic Cancer in Early Trial

    A gene-targeted personalized vaccine may delay the return of pancreatic cancer according to a small, but promising, trial.

    The mRNA vaccine, which was tailored to the genetic makeup of each patient's tumor, worked in half of those who received it during 18 months of follow-up, researchers reported May 10 in the journal

    Maria Menounos Reveals Battle Against Stage 2 Pancreatic Cancer

    Celebrity host Maria Menounos, who will become a mother this summer, revealed this week that she recently underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer.

    The podcast host was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in January, a discovery made after she had episodes of intense abdominal pain.

    Surgeons removed a 3.9-centimeter tumor and part of Menounos' pancreas, along with her spleen, a...

    Each Year Spent Working With Certain Chemicals Raises Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

    Jobs that regularly expose you to certain chemicals appear to steadily increase your risk of pancreatic cancer, a new analysis reports.

    People with more than 20 years of exposure to some chemical agents had a 39% increased risk of pancreatic cancer, compared with an 11% higher risk for 11 to 20 years' exposure and a 4% higher risk for 1 to 10 years' exposure, researchers found.


    Mouse Study Points to New Way to Shrink Pancreatic Tumors

    New research in mice shows promise for a potential therapy for pancreatic cancer, which can be aggressive and hard to treat.

    Researchers from Houston Methodist tested a device that, while smaller than a grain of rice, could deliver immunotherapy directly into a pancreatic tum...

    Could Gut Microbes Affect Pancreatic Cancer Survival?

    Bacteria in the gut microbiome may be the key to why some patients survive pancreatic cancer long-term, despite its notoriously low survival rate.

    Only about 9% of pancreatic cancer patients survive past five years.

    Looking at the microbiomes of long-term pancreatic cancer survivors, a new study found several enriched bacterial species associated with enhanced tumor immune response...

    Parts of Intestinal Scope Devices Can Break Off Inside Patients

    A medical device used to diagnose and treat pancreatic and bile duct disease is getting attention from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after pieces have fallen off and remained in patients' bodies.

    Previously, the FDA had expressed

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 24, 2023
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  • Pancreatic Cancer Rates Rising Faster Among Women

    While rates of pancreatic cancer are increasing for both men and women, they're climbing the fastest among young women, particularly those who are Black.

    "We can tell that the rate of pancreatic cancer among women is rising rapidly, which calls attention to the need for further research in this area,"said senior study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 14, 2023
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  • Chronic Pancreatitis: Surgery Can Help, But Healthy Lifestyle Is Key

    Many people who have surgery for chronic pancreatitis continue to have health struggles in the years afterward -- with some dying at a young age, a new study finds.

    The study, done at one U.S. medical center, is the largest to look at overall survival in the...

    Don't Know the Signs of Pancreatic Cancer? You're Not Alone

    While pancreatic cancer is particularly deadly because there is no early detection test and only limited treatments, there are symptoms that can signal the disease, a leading pancreatic cancer nonprofit says.

    Unfortunately, most Americans do not know what those signs are.

    In a recent survey, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) found most adults are unaware of the signs tha...

    U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline

    The latest statistics from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) show a continuing decline in the number of Americans who die from cancer, although there's been little change in the number of new cancer cases.

    "From 2015 to 2019, overall cancer death rates decreased by 2.1% per year in men and women combined," according to a statement issued by the NCI on Thursday.

    The biggest d...

    New Test of Pancreatic Cysts Might Boost Cancer Detection

    Pancreatic cancer is often fatal, but a molecular test that can accurately distinguish benign cysts from those that could become cancerous may be a key to saving lives.

    Researchers tested the technology -- called PancreaSeq -- to see if it could work in a clinical setting and found success.

    "Based on the results of this study, molecular testing of pancreatic cysts is poised to enter...

    Regular Screening Pays Off for People at High Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

    Pancreatic cancer often has a dismal prognosis, but a new study finds that screening high-risk people can catch the disease early and extend lives.

    Researchers at eight U.S. medical centers found that annual screening tests paid off for patients at high risk of pancreatic cancer due to genetics. Of those diagnosed with the cancer through screening, most had it caught at an early stage, an...

    Experimental Therapy May Be New Tool Against Pancreatic Cancer

    In what could turn out to be a potential breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, a new report suggests a key component of a patient's immune system can be rewired to assassinate tumor cells.

    The experimental approach has already shown promise in one patient.

    Kathy Wilkes, 71, had been stru...

    Gallstones Can Warn of Pancreatic Cancer Risk

    A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer may feel like a death sentence because this fast-moving disease is often discovered at a later stage, when it's harder to treat.

    Now, a new study offers hope for earlier diagnosis, finding an association between recent

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 13, 2022
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  • Black Patients Less Likely to Get Into Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials

    Black Americans are far less likely to be included in clinical trials of pancreatic cancer drugs than white Americans, and eligibility criteria are a significant factor in that gap, according to a new study.

    "The standard of care in cancer treatment is informed by studies conducted with predominantly non-Hispanic white patients," said study author Dr. Jose Trevino, chairman of surgical on...

    Could a Stool Test Help Spot Pancreatic Cancer?

    The key to detecting pancreatic cancer early enough to save lives might be found in patients' poop, a new study suggests.

    A couple of dozen types of microbes found in stool samples are closely linked to pancreatic cancer, and potentially predict whether a person is at high risk for the hard-to-detect malignancy, a team of European researchers reports.

    This panel of 27 microbes, mos...

    Cancer Patients May Be at Higher Odds for Rare Neurological Disorder

    People with cancer may be at increased risk for a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome, new research has found.

    "Previous studies have suggested there may be a link between cancer and Guillain-Barré syndrome, but just how often people develop

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  • March 3, 2022
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  • Could Common Blood Pressure Meds Help Curb Pancreatic Cancer?

    Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to treat and beat, but new research suggests that commonly prescribed high blood pressure drugs may boost survival in patients.

    Known as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and angiotensin receptor blockers (

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  • February 24, 2022
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  • Progress on Lung Cancer Drives Overall Decline in U.S. Cancer Deaths

    A new report offers hope on the lung cancer front: Patients are being diagnosed at an earlier stage in their disease and living longer due to better access to care, higher screening rates and improved treatments.

    And that is driving overall cancer rates down, researchers discovered.

    Still, lung cancer remai...

    Are You at Risk for Pancreatic Cysts?

    Pancreatic cysts can progress into cancer over time, an expert says, so it's important to identify and monitor patients with these growths.

    Located between the stomach and the spine, the pancreas produces enzymes that help digest food and secretes hormones -- such as insulin -- that help regulate metabolism.

    About 15% of Americans are believed to have pancreatic cysts, which are sma...

    Two New Symptoms That Could Point to Pancreatic Cancer

    Researchers have identified two previously unrecognized symptoms of pancreatic cancer -- a discovery that might help with earlier detection and improve extremely low survival numbers, they say.

    "When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed earlier, patients have a higher chance of survival. It is possible to diagnose patients when they visit their GP, but both patients and GPs need to be aware of ...

    Why Are Cases of Pancreatic Cancer Rising in Young Women?

    In his work with patients who have pancreatic cancer, Dr. Srinivas Gaddam was bothered by something that he was seeing.

    "There are some patients that you can't stop thinking about because they've left a mark on you and you try your best to turn things around, but there's only so much you can do," said Gaddam, who said he had found himself caring for a few patients who were very young.

    Cancer Care Costs U.S. $156 Billion Per Year; Drugs a Major Factor

    Private insurers paid out about $156.2 billion in 2018 for U.S. patients with the 15 most common cancers.

    Medication was the largest expense and drugs for breast, lung, lymphoma and colon cancers accounted for the largest chunk of those costs, according to a Penn State College of Medicine study.

    "The public often hears that the U.S. spends an inordinate amount of money on health car...

    Anti-Nausea Drug May Boost Survival for Some Cancer Patients

    Patients who undergo surgery for certain types of cancer may have better short-term survival if they receive a particular anti-nausea drug, a preliminary study suggests.

    Among more than 74,000 patients who had cancer surgery, researchers found that those who received the drug -- called dexamethasone -- were less likely to die in the next 90 days.

    The vast majority of all patients su...

    Far Too Few People of Color in U.S. Pancreatic Cancer Trials

    Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are severely underrepresented in clinical trials testing cutting-edge treatments for pancreatic cancer, researchers say.

    "There are a ton of obstacles to get these patients into clinical trials," said senior author Dr. Jose Trevino, chairman of surgical oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. "But this is how we're...

    Could a DNA Blood Test Spot a Range of Hidden Cancers?

    Could a new one-and-done blood test designed to detect as many as 50 different types of cancer become a diagnostic game changer?

    Yes, say researchers, who report the method appears accurate and reliable at identifying and locating cancer, including some kinds for which there are now no effective screening methods.

    "[The test] sets the stage for a new paradigm of screening individual...

    U.S. Seniors Are Getting Fewer Abdominal Surgeries

    Older Americans, especially those 85 and older, are having fewer abdominal surgeries than in decades past, a new study finds.

    The study examined data from 2002 to 2014, and was not able to tell the exact reasons for the trend. It might be that improvements in medical treatments and cancer screening for older adults are reducing the need for invasive surgeries, the researchers said.

    Obesity Raises Odds for Many Common Cancers

    Being obese or overweight can increase the odds of developing several types of cancers, new research from the United Kingdom reveals.

    But shedding the excess pounds can lower the risk, researchers say.

    Reducing obesity cuts the risk for endometrial cancer by 44% and uterine cancer by 39%, and could also prevent 18% of kidney cancers and 17% of stomach and liver cancers, according t...

    The Future of Cancer for Americans

    At first glance, it appears that little will change between now and 2040 when it comes to the types of cancers that people develop and that kill them, a new forecast shows.

    Breast, melanoma, lung and colon cancers are expected to be the most common types of cancers in the United States, and patients die most often from lung, pancreatic, liver and colorectal cancers, according to the lates...

    Surgery Can Boost Outcomes After Chemo for People With Pancreatic Cancer

    Even in patients with stage 2 pancreatic cancer, surgery is typically worthwhile after chemotherapy, because it appears to extend patients' lives, a new study concludes.

    In stage 2 cancer, the tumor has already grown large enough to be close to vessels that supply blood to nearby organs, such as the liver or intestines.

    That can complicate surgeries and cause doctors to hesitate go...

    Obesity Tied to Shorter Survival in Cancer Patients

    Obesity may shorten the lives of patients with certain types of cancers, but not others, a new research review concludes.

    The analysis, of more than 200 studies, found that across numerous cancers, obesity was linked to shorter survival. The list included breast, colon, prostate, uterine and pancreatic cancers.

    On the other hand, patients with lung, kidney or melanoma skin cancer al...

    Family Tragedy Has Mindy Kaling Speaking Out on Pancreatic Cancer

    When actor, writer and producer Mindy Kaling's mom was fighting pancreatic cancer, it was the biggest struggle the family had ever experienced.

    Swati Chokalingam, a Boston-area obstetrician/gynecologist and Kaling's mom, died in 2012 after getting a stage 4 diagnosis eight months earlier.

    Now Kaling is raising awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) as official b...

    Alex Trebek Dies at 80 From Pancreatic Cancer

    Alex Trebek, beloved by millions as the calm, authoritative host of 'Jeopardy!' for a record-setting 37 years, died Sunday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

    Trebek's death at age 80 was confirmed by the show's producers, The New York Times said. The show will continue to air episodes he hosted until Christmas, they added, and a replacement host has not yet been...

    Weight-Loss Surgery May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk in People With Diabetes

    Weight-loss surgery significantly reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer in obese people with diabetes, a new study finds.

    For the study, the researchers analyzed 20 years of data from 1.4 million people, including more than 10,000 who'd had weight-loss surgery. About three-quarters of those who had weight-loss surgery were women.

    People who'd had weight-loss surgery were les...

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, the court announced. The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was 87.

    First appointed to the court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg was the longest serving member of the liberal justices on the bench. Her many votes in support of abortion rights, access to health care, same-sex marriage and o...