Immunotherapy Targeting Mutant KRAS - Stand Up To Cancer

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Pancreatic Cancer Collective Research Team: Immunotherapy Targeting Mutant KRAS

Grant Terms
Round 1: November 2018–December 2019
Round 2: January 2020–December 2022

Mutations in the KRAS oncogene drive the vast majority of pancreatic cancers. This research team used knowledge of the immune system and innovative bioinformatic, biochemistry and cell biology strategies to isolate T cells that can target the cancer-promoting gene. The team is studying two novel precision therapies involving highly selective white blood cells that can be given to patients with resected pancreatic cancer and will then study the most promising of these vaccines in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.


The goal of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective Research Team: Immunotherapy Targeting Mutant KRAS is to develop a cellular therapy that exploits novel cell engineering to manufacture highly selective anticancer T cells on an individual patient basis. The approach is similar to T cell therapies recently approved by the FDA that target leukemia and lymphoma, except the team is targeting mutant KRAS in pancreatic cancer.

The team has been able to isolate T cells specific for mutant KRAS and has successfully grown these cells from multiple donors. In this study the researchers are isolating more KRAS T cells obtained from three groups of people: normal individuals, patients with mutant KRAS tumors, and pancreatic cancer patients who are being treated with vaccines against mutant KRAS. Based on their pre-clinical studies, the team is testing two novel vaccines in the clinic aimed at triggering mKRAS immune responses in patients with resected pancreatic cancer. In round two of funding, the team plans to use the most promising T-cell receptor identified and conduct a clinical trial of engineered T cell therapy for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

This team is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, an initiative of the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and Stand Up To Cancer.


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