Researchers discover several key mutations in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Through a grant provided by the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation (, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered several key mutations in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. This significant finding holds the promise of improving patient diagnosis and treatment and brings the neuroendocrine cancer community closer to a cure. Neuroendocrine cancers affect approximately 100,000 patients in the United States, including, according to published reports, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc.

Dr. Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and lead researcher on this project recognized the support of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.  "We are very grateful to the Foundation for funding this research. Without their visionary support, this project would not have been possible. We look forward to continuing our work to advance treatment options for neuroendocrine cancer patients," says Dr. Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos and his team uncovered the set of genetic alterations present among patients with non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.  They also uncovered a prognostic set of mutations and a rapid way of prioritizing patients for treatments with mTOR inhibiting drugs.

Papadopoulos says, "One of the most significant things we have learned is that each patient with this form of pancreatic cancer has a unique genetic code that predicts how aggressive the disease is and how sensitive it is to specific treatments."  Dr. Papadopoulos and his team found that in patients with non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, those with specific mutations lived at least 10 years from diagnosis, while more than 60% of patients without these mutations died within five years of diagnosis.

These findings, published online in Science Express on January 20, 2011, suggest new approaches for treating patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. With few treatment options currently available for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor patients, these findings represent important advances toward improving treatment options for these patients.

Of these breakthroughs, CFCF Founder and metastatic carcinoid cancer survivor Nancy Lindholm says, "This research finding represents a monumental leap forward in understanding the underlying mechanism of neuroendocrine cancer. Thanks to the phenomenal work of Dr. Papadopoulos and his team, we are one step closer to a cure. I am grateful to the commitment and dedication of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation community for supporting researchers like Dr. Papadopoulos and making these insights possible. I hope this news brings reviewed optimism and courage to everyone living with carcinoid, pancreatic neuroendocrine, and related neuroendocrine cancers."

The significant findings of Papadopoulos and his team lays the framework for further genomic and drug pathway studies, and visibly demonstrates the progress that is possible through funded research of rare cancers.  


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Proteins in the blood could warn people of cancer more than seven years before it is diagnosed