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PANCREATIC CANCER

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas develop mutations in their DNA that can cause cells to grow into tumours. The pancreas lies behind the lower part of the stomach and secretes enzymes to help digestion and hormones to help with the metabolism of sugars.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma originates in the part of the pancreas that makes digestive enzymes and accounts for about 85% of cases. About 2% of pancreatic cancers are known as neuroendocrine tumours and are generally less aggressive.
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Key Statistics

Detection

Detection

Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected in its early stages and typically spreads rapidly, making it the 4th leading cause of cancer death in Western societies

3,271

3,271

Estimated number of new pancreatic cancer cases diagnosed in 2017

Aged 60+

Aged 60+

Eighty percent of pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 60 years

80%

80%

More than 80% of pancreatic cancers have spread from the pancreas to other body organs when they are first diagnosed

Pancreatic cancer research at Garvan

Garvan’s pancreatic cancer research is diverse, focusing on translating basic scientific discoveries into the clinic. In the Cancer Division, Dr Paul Timpson and Dr Marina Pajic are working to define the genetic characteristics of pancreatic cancer, developing biomarkers prognosis and therapeutic responsiveness, and understanding the molecular mechanisms of resistance in order to develop new treatment strategies.

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