FAMILIES living with pancreatic cancer have more chance of beating the disease after Queensland scientists identified how the disease forms.
Science Minister Ian Walker said on Tuesday Professor Grimmond and his team at the University of Queensland had comprehensively sequenced the DNA of pancreatic cancer creating a detailed atlas of the disease.
He said it would help take the guesswork out of chemotherapy.
"With more than 2600 Australians and about 350 Queenslanders diagnosed every year, this is a remarkable piece of work," he said.
"Profiling this ruthless killer will allow more effective treatment of the disease that kills 95% of people diagnosed within five years.
"It edges us closer to providing an effective treatment for the disease that has one of the highest mortality rates of all cancers."
Professor Grimmond said by comparing the sequence of DNA in every patient's normal genome with the sequence of DNA in their cancer genome, they could determine at the level of DNA code what was different.
"Cancer occurs because of changes to the genome, a person's full set of genetic material," he said.