Mediated Immunity in Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Team - Stand Up to Cancer
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Convergence Teams

Research  >  Research Portfolio  >  Convergence Teams  >  Mediated Immunity in Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Team

SU2C–National Science Foundation–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer
Convergence Research Team:
Liberating T-Cell Mediated Immunity to Pancreatic Cancer

Grant Term: September 2015–August 2019

The SU2C–National Science Foundation (NSF)–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Research Team is a group of physicians, cancer immunologists, computational biologists, and biophysicists. They are working to better understand the immunologic microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, develop technologies to take advantage of cancer cell vulnerabilities, and form a multi-institution consortium to accelerate implementation of new strategies that could change the course of this deadly disease.

ABOUT THIS TEAM’S RESEARCH

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) currently is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States, and it is expected to become the second most common cause within the next few years. Unlike virtually all other major cancers, pancreatic cancer both is increasing in incidence and has shown essentially no improvement in five-year survival over the past two decades. The exceptional lethality of pancreatic cancer is due to several factors, including an intrinsically aggressive biology, lack of effective means of early detection, and poor responsiveness to systemic chemotherapy. Clearly, novel approaches to this disease are needed.

The SU2C–NSF–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Research Team is building on previous findings to further explore potential approaches to pancreatic cancer that engage the body’s immune system. A new clinical trial is assessing whether controlled treatment with vitamin D can help immune cells penetrate the pancreatic tumor, increasing the effectiveness of immunotherapy. Additionally, extensive analysis of existing specimens will assess patients’ immune responses to their tumors.

The group, comprising physicians, cancer immunobiologists, computational biologists, and biophysicists, strives to better understand the unique immunological microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, develop the technologies needed to take advantage of cancer cell vulnerabilities, and form a multi-institution clinical consortium to more readily implement new strategies that could change the course of this deadly disease.

This team is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective portfolio of research.

MEET THE TEAM

The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C–NSF–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Research Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C–NSF–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Research Team.

Team Members

Peter O’Dwyer, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Co-leader

Jeffrey Drebin, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Co-leader

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Co-leader

Curtis G. Callan, PhD
Princeton University
Team Member

Benjamin D. Greenbaum, PhD
Icahn Medical School at Mount Sinai
Team Member

Harlan Robins, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Team Member

David T. Ting, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Team Member

Alice Lustig
Stand Up To Cancer
Project Manager

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and six-monthly reviews by senior scientists. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click on the link to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C–NSF–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Research Team.

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

PUBLICATIONS

Sequence-Specific Sensing of Nucleic Acids
Vabret N, Bhardwaj N, Greenbaum BD (2017)
Trends in Immunology 38(1), :53-65
P53 and the Defenses Against Genome Instability Caused by Transposons and Repetitive Elements
Levine AJ, Ting DT, Greenbaum BD (2016)
Bioessays 38(6):508-13.
Sequence-Specific Sensing of Nucleic Acids
Vabret N, Bhardwaj N, Greenbaum BD (2017)
Trends in Immunology 38(1):53-65.
Neoantigen Quality and an Immunogenic Hotspot Define Long Term Pancreatic Cancer Survivors
Balachandran VP, Luksza M, Zhao JN, et al. (2017)
Nature 551(7681):512-516.
Insights Into Immune System Development and Function From Mouse T-Cell Repertoires
Sethna Z, Elhanati Y, Dudgeon C, et al. (2017)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 114(9):2253-2258.
See MoreLess Publications

CLINICAL TRIALS REFERRALS

Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.

You can also connect with EmergingMed, a free and confidential clinical trial matching service that provides access to a vast database to help you identify the clinical trials that might be right for you or your loved one.

LEARN MORE