Each year, almost as many people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States die from the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates about 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with this form of cancer in the coming year. Some 43,000 will lose their life. A disease that strikes men and women alike, pancreatic cancer’s grim survival statistics are largely associated with difficulty in detecting the condition in its earlier stages and a lack of effective treatment to halt its growth.

Researchers believe they may have found a way to better manage pancreatic cancer after it forms. Their works involves a protein known as S100P. This protein is known to overexpress when pancreatic cancer is present, working to signal changes in the body that promote the growth and spread of cancer cells. To change this, researchers have created a compound that may stop S100P from activating. This, in turn, could slow or halt the development of pancreatic cancer. A total of nearly 20 possible drugs have been identified that may prevent pancreatic cancer cells from migrating.

Although still very much in the testing phases, this line of research is offering great hope for the eventual treatment of pancreatic cancer. This line of work to slow growth and stop spread comes as other researchers are diligently testing possible early screening procedures. Success in both arenas could have a very strong and positive impact on the grim numbers currently associated with pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is considered rare, but its high mortality rate makes it a very big concern for doctors and patients alike. People at high risk for the development of this form of cancer are urged to speak with their healthcare providers about cutting risks that can be addressed. New onset diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, family history, tobacco use and obesity are all potential risk factors.