Pancreatic cancer is at least four separate diseases each with a different cause and needing a different treatment, scientists have discovered.
The researchers say the knowledge will lead to new drugs targeting the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of each patient’s cancer and that they have already seen some “exceptional” results.
The researchers believe this will allow for new drugs which target the individual diseases, resulting in more successful drugs for pancreatic cancer.
The four pancreatic cancers are squamous-type, pancreatic progenitor, immunogenic and aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine. This knowledge reveals why some tumours are more susceptible to some treatments than others and will help in deciphering which treatments for cancer are best for the individual.
In a notoriously difficult to treat cancer, this is a much-needed breakthrough. Cancer charities said the findings were “incredibly exciting”, the BBC reported.