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Study: Pancreatitis Biomarker Connected To Pancreatic Cancer

A recent study has found a biomarker linked with pancreatitis to be involved in its growth to pancreatic cancer.

Drug Target Review advised that the research team discovered a chemical structure known as CA 19-9, a biomarker known for pancreatitis, which can also contribute to patients getting pancreatic cancer. This finding could help form other therapies for this illness.

Lead researcher of the study, Dannielle Engle, chimed in on the discovery stating it offers a unique opportunity where the prophylactic pancreatitis intervention could help as it relates to preventing pancreatic cancer for those “at-risk” individuals.

While in the past, no distinct function had been found, CA 19-9 is a complex sugar structure coating many proteins. One enzyme ultimately controls the final step when it comes to the structure’s final production; however, this enzyme is missing from rodents. The team produced mice that created CA19-9, and found that they developed severe pancreatitis. The research team angled A19-9 as a therapeutic focus for pancreatitis.

When it came to the mice, CA19-9 signals an immune system to repair injuries resulting from pancreatitis. The team discovered that during this process, CA19-9 can also encourage a force of biochemical reactions driven via the release of harmful digestive enzymes from the pancreas. This force thus creates an opening transformational entry when it comes to cancer and its development; and the researchers also showed how CA19-9 can significantly accelerate pancreatic tumours and their growth.

Engle posited that pancreatitis is needed when it comes to pancreatic cancer, and she noted that targeting CA 19-9 could prevent this transition in patients. She also relayed that by focusing on CA 19-9 with antibodies in mice models, the team was able to decrease the severity of pancreatitis and stop it from occurring.

BioNTech, a biotech company based in Germany, has a pending patent application (exclusively licensed) around coverage use of CA 19-9 antibodies when it comes to prevention and treatment for pancreatitis.