Research at NC Central could save lives in fight against pancreatic cancer

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. At North Carolina Central University, researchers are making strides to reverse that trend.

Amazing research that's happening in an NCCU lab could be lifesaving.

"Unfortunately, most people, when they get pancreatic cancer they succumb to the disease within six months to a year or two," said Dr. Antonio Baines.

Baines and his team are working to find treatments for pancreatic cancer. Considered nearly untreatable, it's the third deadliest form of cancer.

By 2030, it's expected to be the second deadliest.

"There's really no good drug treatments," Baines said. "A lot of the drugs that are used, eventually the pancreatic cancer becomes resistant to that drug treatment over time."

That's why Baines' research has been paramount in finding ways to fight back against the disease. His team has discovered a particular protein in the pancreas that when manipulated could be the vulnerability that doctors need to target for treatment.

"When we use an inhibitor against this protein, it makes the cells more sensitive to chemotherapy," Baines said.

Baines said they still have a long way to go. But they're not giving up anytime soon.

"I think everybody who studies pancreatic cancer wants to make a difference on some level -- no matter how small or how big it is -- we all want to make a difference," Baines said. "So absolutely, I would love to be part of that group that helps to provide that glimmer of hope and hopefully prolong that five-year survival rate.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.