Knowledge Capital School 1 : Cutting edge medical research at Osaka University

<Knowledge Capital School: Cutting edge medical research at Osaka University>

Lecture 1: Early detection of pancreatic cancer

The Graduate School of Medicine and the Immunology Frontier Research Center held its first of four science cafés at Osaka Knowledge Capital on April 11. Dr. Masamitsu Konno of the Frontier Science for Cancer and Chemotherapy, Graduate School of Medicine, spoke about new technology being developed at the university for the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Advancements in diagnostics and treatments have significantly increased the five-year survival rate of cancer patients. One exception is pancreatic cancer, which remains stubbornly difficult to treat. One reason is the absence of any reliable markers for early detection.

Dr. Konno’s team has identified certain RNA modifications that seem to correspond with the early stage of pancreatic cancer. These modifications can be detected from blood samples. Additionally, they are developing analysis tools for DNA and RNA sequence data to predict the effects of anti-cancer drugs in cancer patients. There was an anticipation in the audience about the possibility of these techniques reaching the clinic.