Potential breakthrough in early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

Researchers at the U.F. College of Pharmacy have identified two small molecules that inhibit pre-cancerous cell progression.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Researchers at the University of Florida have made a discovery that could lead to earlier detection of pancreatic cancer, a disease that ranks as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. because it’s often detected in late stages.

Study senior author Dr. Tom Schmittgen and his team at the U.F. College of Pharmacy have identified two small molecules that inhibit pre-cancerous cell progression.

These molecules could also actually reverse a process that precedes pancreatic cancer.

“We take cells from the pancreas, either from mice with tumors or human organ donors and we culture these in a special way in the lab and we can study these by adding drugs to see if we can, again, inhibit or reverse this process,” Schmittgen said.

Future research will involve testing other compounds that may prove to be more effective in developing treatments for a disease that currently has few options for patients.

And a new study involving nearly one hundred thousand Chinese adults showed that sleeping in a room exposed to artificial light at night may significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Researchers noted that even the small amount of light from a cell phone can worsen sleep quality.

Studies have shown that good sleep is critical for many other areas of health including weight loss, pain relief, and cognition and now, reducing the risk of diabetes.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.