AACR Logo In the last few months we have come across many reports suggesting treatment for pancreatic cancer in the form of cell-surface proteins and zinc. More recently, scientists from the American Association For Cancer Research (AACR) have put forth that mutation in the ATM gene could elevate the risk of pancreatic cancer in terms of inheritance.

The team accessed state-of-the-art sequencing techniques that were inclusive of whole genome and exome analyses. They stumbled upon the ATM gene in 2 members belonging to an ancestry of pancreatic cancer.

Lead author Alison Klein, Ph.D., associate professor of oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and director of the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry commented, “There was significant reason to believe this clustering was due to genetics, but we had not, to this point, been able to find the causative genes that explained the cluster of pancreatic cancer for a majority of these families.”

As per the findings, in a set of 166 pancreatic cancer patients, 4 of them seemed to possess mutated form of the ATM gene. It did not appear to be present in the spousal control subset constituting nearly 190 individuals.

Presently, there are no pancreatic tests recommended for patients, however, this insight into the ATM gene could pave the path to improved screening for pancreatic cancer. Many experts access endoscopy as a diagnostic tool and it is open for assessment in clinical trials.

The analysis is published in the journal, Cancer Discovery.