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SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Interception Research Team: Developing Novel Approaches to Treat and Evaluate Early Pancreatic Cancer

David P. Ryan, MD

David P. Ryan, MD

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Alec C. Kimmelman, PhD

Alec C. Kimmelman, PhD

Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone


The SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Interception Research Team aims to intercept pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) through a comprehensive approach that tests intensive preoperative treatments allowing more patients to achieve successful surgery and eradicate micrometastatic disease, and through the use of organoids to identify robust biomarkers of response to therapy.

Pancreatic cancer can sometimes be cured by surgery, but this is not always successful. Outcomes can be improved by intensive preoperative therapy with FOLFIRINOX – a chemotherapy regimen that combines the drugs 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan hydrochloride, and oxaliplatin.

Through a clinical trial, the team will evaluate the addition of losartan, a drug that may enhance the efficacy of FOLFIRINOX. Furthermore, since preliminary data suggest that losartan therapy and radiation therapy alter the immune microenvironment, the team will add immunotherapy to determine if this strategy can provide additional benefit.

The team will also use organoids – tiny colonies of living cells – obtained from patients’ tumors prior to starting treatment to determine if they can be used to predict patients’ response to FOLFIRINOX and other therapies.

Amount of Funding

$2.6 million


  • Joseph M. Herman, MD, MSc, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Wells Messersmith, MD, University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • Richard Burkhart, MD, Johns Hopkins University


  • Robert A. Ettl, Harvard Management Company
  • Carole Seigel, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Regina Pyle, Massachusetts General Hospital

Updated: May 2018