SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Interception Dream Team: Intercepting Pancreatic Cancer in High-Risk Cohorts
Moores Cancer Center at the University of California San Diego (UCSD)
Professor of Pathology, Medicine and Oncology
Johns Hopkins University
Scientific director of the Sheikh Ahmed Pancreatic Cancer Research Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Seminal studies by members of the Dream Team have helped define clinical subsets who are at higher risk for developing pancreatic cancer than the general population: individuals with an inherited predisposition (germline mutation carriers); patients with pancreatic cysts; and adults with new-onset diabetes. The overarching goal of this Dream Team is to intercept pancreatic cancer in high-risk cohorts. In the GENERATE study, the team is helping immediate family members of pancreatic cancer patients who are, themselves, mutation carriers, know their own risk of pancreatic cancer. In pursuit of another aim, the Dream Team plans to embark on a trial of a vaccine to prevent pancreatic cancer. The team’s vaccine will attempt to induce the body’s immune system to act against abnormal KRAS, the earliest and most common genetic aberration found in pancreatic cancer, with the aim of eliminating the precancerous lesions. The team is also developing a “blood test” for diagnosis of pancreatic cancer when it has still not clinically manifested itself, a blood test that can be applied to high risk settings such as new-onset diabetes.