Pancreatic cancer years in the making

Pancreatic cancer years in the making

Decade elapses from first mutation to tumor formation, and years more until the disease spreads

By Nathan Seppa, 12:23 PM October 27, 2010

The lead time for cancer of the pancreas to develop is extensive, possibly opening up a decade-long window of opportunity for doctors to someday screen for and remove tumors on this vital organ, a study in the Oct. 28 Nature shows. A companion study finds unusual chromosomal rearrangements in this deadly cancer, a characteristic that might provide insights into the cancer formation process.

Scientists have puzzled over the deadly nature of pancreatic cancer, in which fewer than 5 percent of...

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