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Pkd1's Effect On Pancreatic Cancer Essay

1551 words - 7 pages

PKD1’s Effect on Pancreatic Cancer
Much money and time has been spent to uncover treatments that can lessen the grip that cancer has on the human race. While medical breakthroughs in the understanding of many types of cancer have greatly enhanced treatment options and patient survival rates, there is one type of cancer that continues to be very difficult to treat. Pancreatic cancer is a very difficult cancer to fight, and continuous to be a top priority for research and testing as it is one of the most aggressive growing cancers and highly resistant to chemotherapy (4). Although pancreatic cancer isn’t the most common form of cancer, it is the fourth most common cause of ...view middle of the document...

The exocrine glands significantly outnumber the endocrine because more than 95% of the cells in the pancreas are exocrine glands and ducts (2). Because of this large outnumbering, most cases of pancreatic cancer are specifically found in exocrine glands. While people might assume that it doesn’t matter if you have exocrine or endocrine pancreatic cancer, they are drastically different as they form different types of tumors. They also carry distinct causes, have different signs and symptoms, use different tests for diagnosis, have different treatments, and have different outlooks (2). While it depends on the tumor type and stage of the tumor, patients with endocrine tumors typically have higher survival rates and outlooks than those with exocrine tumors. Scientists and doctors have also found many factors that could potentially increase a person’s chance of getting pancreatic cancer. Some like tobacco, obesity, and exposure to certain chemicals fall into a category that a person can generally control (3). Others like age, gender, race, family genetics, diabetes, inflammation of pancreas, and stomach pain are out of a person’s control (3). Pancreatic cancer also has very delayed symptoms that show up far after the tumor has developed. It is this delay that often makes it hard to effectively treat pancreatic cancer as early detection greatly increases the chance for a cure. While it may seem that there is little hope for someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the new connection between protein kinase D1 and pancreatic cancer opens opportunities toward finding an effective treatment and prevention.
Info on Protein Kinase D1:
Protein kinase D1 is a member of a family of threonine/serine kinases that are distinct from PKC isoforms as they phosphorylate the OH group of serine and threonine (5). The PKD family has key roles in controlling chromatin structure and gene expression. PKD1 primarily works to integrate signals from multiple and often extracellular stimulating factors into the cell by activating diverse downstream pathways (4). Thus, it helps transmit signals from either outside or inside the cell to its necessary destination. Through this integration, PKD1 has many cellular functions such as helping to regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis (planned cell death), cell differentiation, and cell adhesion. PKD1 also plays a critical role in the formation and consolidation of memory in the neurons, in the maintenance of cardiovascular health, and in the regulation of the immune system (4). PKD1 has many other functions as it is an essential part of cellular growth, migration, and division. It is easy to see the connection between PKD1 and cancer after studying how important PKD1 is during a cell’s division.
How PKD1 affects cancer:
Because cancer normally forms during cell division and PKD1 is an important tool during cell division, PKD1’s effects on cancer can clearly be seen. For example, a cancerous tumor is a clumping...

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