Recent research has uncovered a potential cause of pancreatic cancer's notoriously low survival rate. Scientists have found that the cells of cancerous pancreatic tissue may have disrupted internal clocks, which help to drive the spread of the disease. Circadian clock genes in almost all cells follow regular 24-hour patterns and can be disrupted by factors such as irregular sleep patterns and prolonged light exposure.
This disruption in the cells of pancreatic cancer could help explain why this type of cancer is so difficult to treat. The discovery could lead to the development of novel treatments for pancreatic cancer, which currently has a five-year survival rate of just 11 per cent in the US. The hope is that targeting these disrupted circadian clocks in the cells of pancreatic tissue could help improve survival rates.
While further research is necessary before any conclusions can be drawn, this discovery marks an exciting potential development in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Although it is too soon to say what the implications of this research may be, it is hoped that further research in this area could potentially reduce the mortality rate of this devastating disease.