New mutations that provoke neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas were discovered at the Rostov Oncology Institute

For the first time in Russia, the Rostov Research Oncology Institute (RNIOI) conducted a large-scale molecular genetic study of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the pancreas, and for the first time in the world, the study was carried out on samples of the Russian population. The results will improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

NETs have been poorly studied, are rare, and occur in patients of different ages, but more often in 54–60 years of age. A third of all cases are pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. In this disease, malignant cells secrete hormones, the patient’s condition is accompanied by severe symptoms, and it is difficult to diagnose the disease. In advanced cases, metastases form.

“Tumor materials from 24 patients at the Rostov Oncology Research Institute were selected for molecular genetic research – the most complex cases when a benign tumor progresses. For the first time in the world, a study of pancreatic NETs was carried out on tumor samples from the Russian population,” says a senior researcher at the institute Vladimir Trifanov.

Using a new generation whole-genome sequencer, materials were examined for 409 oncogenes known to modern science. As a result, 26 new mutations were discovered, including hereditary ones, that provoke the occurrence of pancreatic NETs. The research results will improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

“We assume that clinical trials will expand the range of drugs for the treatment of this type of cancer. We found that a third of the identified mutations are hereditary. This means that oncologists can monitor relatives of patients with this disease and, if pathology is detected at an early stage, quickly carry out effective treatment,” said the director of the RNIOI .

The results of a unique molecular genetic study were presented in South Korea at the Congress of the Asia-Pacific Association of Hepatological and Pancreatological Surgeons. For the report of Rostov scientists, the organizing committee of the largest congress in Asia organized for the first time a separate section on neuroendocrine tumors.

RNIOI researchers will continue to work on this topic. The existing results will be verified using other molecular genetic analysis methods.

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