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Sunlight could help decrease risk of pancreatic cancer

Posted by: Research 22 June 2012

Some very interesting research has been presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR) conference ''Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges'', and, as one of the sponsors of the conference, Chief Executive Alex Ford was there for Pancreatic Cancer UK to hear it all firsthand.

One particularly interesting piece of research presented at the conference revealed that the sun might help to decrease your risk of pancreatic cancer. As the conference's press release states, pancreatic cancer patients with a genetic marker linked to increased expression of the receptor for vitamin D have higher rates of overall survival.

AACR

Federico Innocenti, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy, comments: "Based on these findings, we should refocus our attention on the role of the vitamin D pathway in pancreatic cancer because it may have an impact on the survival of patients."

Innocenti does not see this study having any immediate clinical implications but believes it provides more information about the link between vitamin D biology and pancreatic cancer. 

Funding for this research was provided by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Additional research released this week at the conference, includes:

  • A study that strongly suggests that a diet high in fat and calories can hasten the development of pancreatic cancer in humans
  • The development of a highly accurate, blood-based pancreatic adenocarcinoma screen that would be accurate enough to test the general population for this deadly disease may not be far out of reach