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Researchers Id Novel Treatment Pathway For Deadly Pancreatic Cancers

The High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) protein functions as a “molecular switch” that “flips on” expression and secretion of a critical growth factor, called FGF19, in pancreatic cancer.  Together with HMGA1, FGF19 promotes tumor progression and formation of a dense wall-like structure called the “stroma”, which prevents therapy from reaching tumor cells.  Furthermore, pancreatic tumors with high expression of HMGA1 and FGF19 comprise a subset of human pancreatic cancers with extremely poor outcomes.  Most importantly, inhibitors to FGF19 receptors (FGFR4) are already available in the clinics for other diseases and provide a potential new therapy for these highly lethal pancreatic tumors. Credit: Bowen Wang and Linda Resar