The SU2C–CRUK–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team’s approach is rooted in the idea that pancreatic cancers are, in essence, “wounds” that never heal.
Research by members of this Dream Team, and others in the field, has uncovered gene networks in tumors that are similar to those in injured tissues, where repair and regenerative mechanisms are essential to restoration of normal function. Unlike the normal system of wound-healing, which has a shut-off mechanism, in tumors the process remains active, “hijacked” to constantly drive growth. The team believes that the biological machinery involved is controlled through hot spots in a cell’s DNA called super enhancers (SE), which control not only the cancer cell but also surrounding noncancerous cells on which the cancer cells rely for support.
The SU2C–CRUK–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team is working to develop new approaches to reset malfunctioning SEs in pancreatic tumors, thereby increasing the sensitivity to chemotherapy and to anticancer immune cells and pushing pancreatic tumors into lasting remission.
This Dream Team is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective portfolio of research.