Currently there is no suitable screening test for pancreatic cancer. The goal of the SU2C–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Interception Dream Team is to actively block pancreatic cancer at its earliest stages in patients at high risk.
The team is testing 2,000 pancreatic cancer patients for genetic mutations and screening the immediate family members of mutation carriers for their own pancreatic cancer risk. Cancer-free relatives who carry a mutation are being invited to enter an active screening protocol, tied to computer-based “deep learning” imaging that can detect cancers too small to be seen by the human eye. A subset of high-risk individuals who are currently cancer-free but have precancerous lesions in their pancreas are being invited to participate in the first-ever clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent pancreatic cancer.
Finally, the team is developing a “blood test” for very early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, to be applied to people at high risk, such as those with new-onset diabetes.
This Dream Team is part of the SU2C Cancer Interception Initiative, an approach that looks for ways to actively intervene in the formation of the disease rather than treating it only after it is fully developed, and is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective portfolio of research.