Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pain in the Pancreas

"Research initiative targets pancreatic cancer; Hospital, biotech firm, research group eye pancreatic disease" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff  April 07, 2015

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Framingham biotechnology company, and an international research group are joining in a research initiative aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment for one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

The organizations will announce Tuesday that they are collaborating to find biological indicators, or biomarkers, of pancreatic cancer, which could help doctors diagnose the disease earlier and provide better treatments to sick patients. The hope is that earlier treatment would extend the lives of patients with pancreatic cancer, a disease that is hard to detect and almost always fatal. Most patients die within months of diagnosis.

“For us to make a difference in this disease, we fundamentally have to understand the disease much better, and we have to have a way of detecting it,” said Niven R. Narain, cofounder and president of Berg LLC, the Framingham company.

The third member of the partnership is Pancreatic Cancer Research Team, a network of 48 cancer centers around the globe. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

An estimated 49,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Within five years, the disease is expected to move from the fourth-leading cause of cancer death to the second, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Lung cancer is the leading cause.

Under the partnership, Harvard- affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess and the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team will collect tissue samples from hundreds of patients....


Maybe it is connected to this:

"Semma Therapeutics is already off to a strong start. On Tuesday, the company will disclose it has raised $44 million from big-name investors. “This would be a huge breakthrough,” said Dr. George L. King, a Harvard Medical School professor and research director at Joslin Diabetes Center. “It could cure diabetes.” But.... management of a disease will be the main goal, and that would be real progress." 

Why would they want to cure anything? No rea$on to.