Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is resistant to most forms of therapy and is one of the deadliest types of cancer. Studies in mice and humans have shown that the environment surrounding a PDA tumor, called the microenvironment, has unique characteristics that are thought to limit the efficacy of treatment.
The SU2C–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team uses a “convergence” approach, in which leading individuals in different scientific fields work together toward understanding and treating PDA.
The Dream Team has been conducting numerous clinical trials using combinations of drugs and is gaining insight as to which molecules can be measured as indicators, or biomarkers, of tumor microenvironment reprogramming. The team’s trials are focusing on new ways to reverse immune suppression in the tumor, either in combination with a vaccine that activates anticancer immune cells called T cells, or in combination with chemotherapy. These trials are also contributing to the establishment of a national PDA biobank for identification of immune biomarkers.
This Dream Team is also part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective portfolio of research.