The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Fellowship, in memory of Samuel Stroum supports a postdoctoral or clinical research fellow who is in the first three years of his or her fellowship training to conduct pancreatic cancer research and establish a successful career path in this field. The research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, clinical or epidemiological in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to pancreatic cancer.
Florencia McAllister, M.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Role of Inflammatory Cells in Early Pancreatic Tumorigenesis
"Chronic pancreatitis is a risk factor for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) supporting the involvement of concomitant inflammation in pancreatic oncogenesis. Cigarette smoking, the most important single risk factor for PDAC, has been recently associated with chronic pancreatic inflammation. An activating mutation in the gene K-Ras is known to be an early event in the progression of pancreatic cancer. Mice genetically engineered to express mutant K-Ras in their otherwise normal pancreas are known to develop PanINs and this process is accelerated in the presence of pancreas inflammation. During chronic pancreatitis, proinflammatory cells are recruited to the pancreas and we hypothesize that the interaction of these cells with the epithelium leads to tumor progression. We are using several genetic and pharmacological approaches to determine the role of these cells in pancreatic cancer formation and progression."
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