Pancreatic Cancer Treatment/Cure Using Virus Vector

Introducing the project

What this project covers
This project is about the research and cure of pancreatic cancer, using something called virus vector, which will be covered in the part"Virus Vector". This project covers:
What the pancreas is
What pancreatic cancer is
What its symptoms are
What its treatments are
What virus vector is
What the real definition of cancer is
Why its so important to cure pancreatic cancer
A biography of a real patient
The future outlooks
The expert in the field
My final thoughts after doing the project

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas is a pear shaped organ located between the stomach and the small intestine that is part of the digestive system. It makes pancreatic juice that flows into the small intestine. This juice contains digestive enzymes and bicarbonate which neutralizes the acid in chyme, which is the digested food in fluid form. It also makes hormones like insulin that regulate blood sugar.
Pictures of the Pancreas

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer starts in the tissues of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer is rarely detected in the early stages, because symptoms may not appear until advanced stages, and has poor prognosis, or how much you can live. There are two types of pancreatic cancer. One is cancer that forms in the pancreas ducts. The cells in these ducts help with producing digestive juices, so the juices lessen. This type of cancer is most common and are called exocrine tumors or adenocarcinoma. The second type of cancer is those that form in the hormone-producing cells. Although this type is very rare, it affects the amount of hormone. It is called endocrine cancer.
Pancreatic cancer - real pictures

What are the symptoms and complications of Pancreatic Cancer?

Upper abdominal pain that may go to the back. Yellowing of skin and the whites of your eyes. Loss of appetite and weight loss. Depression. Blood clots. The tumors and increasing mass of the pancreas can block the liver’s bile duct, causing a symptom called jaundice. There is also a large cluster of nerves by the pancreas, so the growing tumor may press on these, causing pain. The tumor can also push against the small intestine, blocking food to enter the small intestine. This makes it difficult to eat, resulting in loss of appetite and weight loss. The pancreas may not be making enough digestive juices, therefor not properly processing nutrients. Pancreatic cancer forms tumors in the pancreas, which push against surrounding organs, like making food unable to enter the small intestine and on at all, pain by pushing against the nerves, and pushing against the liver, making it unable for bile to be used. In advanced stages, blood will not be able to enter certain parts, making these organs dying. This leads to death.

There are four stages in pancreatic cancer. In stage 1, the cancer is found only in the pancreas and not in any other organs. In stage 2, the cancer spreads to nearby organs, such as the duodenum and the bile duct. In stage 3, the cancer spreads to lymph nodes near the pancreas. Lymph nodes are places where intruders and other unordinary substances are killed by white blood cells. In stage 4, the cancer spreads to organs such as the stomach, spleen, and colon. After that, the cancer spreads to organs also spread to far away organs such as the liver or lungs.

The blue dots in the picture shows the cancer that spreads out throughout the body as it develops.

What are the causes of getting Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic Cancer is formed by genetic mutations in the DNA of the pancreatic cells, such as K-Ras, a oncogene, a mutaion that causes cancer. These mutations can come from your parents or they can be acquired later on in life. If the mutations are passed on from your parents, most of the time, only one parent has the mutation. This means that there is one copy of a mutated cell, and if the other also fails, then you get pancreatic cancer. You can think this as a space shuttle running with a computer and a backup computer. If both fail to work, the shuttle falls. You can also get mutations in the cell by your behavior. If you smoke, the carcinogens in it can damage the DNA, which can grow the cell into a mutated cancer cell. You, of course, can get pancreatic cancer by pure chance. Every time a cell divides and makes a copy of the 3 billion pairs of DNA, there is a chance that the cell will make a mistake. These "mistakes" is sometimes a good thing, like leading to evolution, but sometimes a bad thing, like the possibility of getting pancreatic cancer.

​What are the treatments for pancreatic cancer?

There are three treatments for pancreatic cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Biological therapy is also being tested for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In surgery, there are three ways of surgery, one being whipple procedure another being pancreatectomy and the last distal pancreatectomy.. In whipple procedure, or scientifically called pancreaticoduodenectomy, the surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, part of the small intestine, and some nearby organs that the cancer may have spread to. Most of the pancreas is still left, and it can continue making digestive juices and insulin. This is mostly used in removing pancreatic cancer. In pancreatectomy, the surgean removes the whole pancreas, part of the small intestine, part of the stomach, the bile duct connected to the pancreas, the gallbladder, the spleen, and lymph nodes in the area. In distal pancreatectomy, the body and tail of the pancreas is removed, but this is mostly only used on the endocrine pancreas(parts of the pancreas that is connected to systems that effect the inside, like hormones, because endo means inside) and rarely used on the exocrine pancreas(the parts of the pancreas that connects to the outside, like neutralizing acids, because exo means outside). If the cancer has already spread too much and cannot be removed , then the surgeon may do surgery to relieve the patient, like by cutting and sewing back organs to not be rubbing against the cancer tumors. When this is done to the gallbladder or bile duct, it is called biliary bypass.
In radiation therapy, the doctor uses high energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and/or shrink tumors. This is either done by machines outside of the body, called external radiation therapy, or may put materials that produce radiation, radioisotopes, into the area infected, called internal radiation therapy.
In chemotherapy, drugs are used to kill cancer cells, but since the drug goes into the bloodstream and flows to various parts of the body not infected, the body may weaken due to damage to other areas. Therefor, this is done in cycles. A treatment period, then a recovery period, and so on.
In labs, researchers are testing biological therapy, or using the body's immune system to fight cancer. It uses materials made by the body or made in a lab to strengthen, direct, or restor the body's natural defenses against the cancer. This treatment time in development is sometimes also called immunotherapy.

What raise the risk of getting pancreatic cancer?

According to scientific theories, some things may increase the risk of getting pancreatic cancer. They are of increasing age of over 60, being black, being overweight or obese, inflammation of the pancreas, diabetes, family history in genetic syndromes, family history of pancreatic cancer, and smoking.

Category: A real Patient
Category: Virus Vector
Definition of Cancer

Category: Why is pancreatic cancer important to cure?
Category: Future Outlooks
//Category: Expert Page//

Final Thoughts