Research News

Cancer Research: New Tumor Suppressor Found in Pancreatic Cancer

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Science  19 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5247, pp. 294
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5247.294


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers, killing half its victims within 6 weeks and having a 5-year survival rate of only 1%. Within the past few years, researchers have begun getting a handle on what makes this tumor so dangerous. Most of the cancers show loss or inactivation of two major tumor suppressor genes (p 53 and p 16), and now another major tumor suppressor gene for pancreatic cancer has been identified (see Report on p. 350). The gene, which is called DPC4, may encode a component of the pathway by which transforming growth factor- inhibits cell growth. If so, that could help explain how loss of DPC4 contributes to the runaway growth of pancreatic cancers.