University of Pennsylvania
A vitamin D variant may be key to treating deadly pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is nasty, sneaky and nearly impervious to the effects of chemotherapy, and its dispiriting five-year survival rate of 6% has budged not at all in decades. But researchers at the Salk Institute in California reported this week that they have found a way to unmask this stone-cold killer and render it vulnerable to standard cancer treatments. Using a chemically modified version of vitamin D, the Salk scientists appear to have kicked open the doors to the vault within which pancreatic tumors flourish — in mice, at least. That exposes this most inexorable of cancers to the tender mercies not only of the immune system, but of chemotherapy as well. In mice with...