Targeting Stem Cell Signals - Stand Up to Cancer
Help save a life

This holiday season, Mastercard is standing with us in the fight to end cancer as we know it. From now until December 31st, 2018, if you use a Mastercard to donate to Stand Up To Cancer, Mastercard will TRIPLE your gift, up to $300,000!

That’s triple the impact to support groundbreaking cancer research that will help save lives now!

$25 = $75
$50 = $150
$100 = $300
$250 = $750
GIVE FOR LIFE
For every $1 donated through StandUpToCancer.org with a Mastercard, Mastercard will donate $2, up to $300,000. Offer starts 12/14/18 at 12:01am ET and ends 12/31/18 at 11:59pm ET, or at the $300,000 max, whichever comes first.

Research Teams

Research  >  Research Portfolio  >  Dream Teams  >  Targeting Stem Cell Signals

Pancreatic Cancer Collective Research Team:
Targeting Stem Cell Signals in Pancreatic Cancer New Therapies Challenge

Grant Term: November 2018–December 2019

Researchers on this team have identified a subpopulation of cells in pancreatic cancer that act like stem cells and help the cancer to proliferate. The team has also found that these cells are especially resistant to therapeutic drugs but may be sensitive to a new approach. The team is testing whether blocking a protein that regulates inflammation can slow or stop the growth of pancreatic cancer. Promising drugs in this class are already in development for autoimmune diseases, so if this approach is successful, doctors may be able to deploy it rapidly to develop new treatments for pancreatic cancer. 

ABOUT THIS TEAM’S RESEARCH

There is a critical need to identify new therapeutics that can more effectively block tumor growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer. This team has identified a subpopulation of cells in pancreatic cancer that have some characteristics of stem cells and display the capacity to drive disease progression and therapy resistance. A particular regulator of inflammation and the immune response has been found to be highly enriched in pancreatic cancer stem cells and critically required for their ability to drive tumor growth and progression.

Based on these findings, the team is testing whether delivery of a pharmacological inhibitor can block growth and progression of pancreatic cancer in genetically engineered models of the disease. This work has the potential for rapid translation and high impact because these inhibitors are already in clinical trials for autoimmune diseases, including two that are delivered orally. Thus, this Team’s studies will pave the way for a clinical trial testing of the efficacy of targeting a regulator of inflammation and the immune response in pancreatic cancer therapy.

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

MEET THE TEAM

The top scientists and researchers on the Pancreatic Cancer Collective Research Team: Targeting Stem Cell Signals in Pancreatic Cancer New Therapies Challenge come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Collective Research Team: Targeting Stem Cell Signals in Pancreatic Cancer New Therapies Challenge.

Team Members

Tannishtha Reya, PhD
University of California, San Diego
Team Leader

Andrew Lowy, MD
University of California, San Diego
Co-leader

Margaret Tempero, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Co-leader

Marcie Kritzik, PhD
University of California, San Diego
Project Manager

“We’re trying to find out what are the signals that endow stem cell properties on cancer cells, and trying to block those, because those seem necessary to enable the cancer to renew, and grow aggressively, and also be resistant to most therapies.”

Tannishtha Reya, PhD
University of California, San Diego

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 reviews by senior scientists every six months. 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 the research results so far for the Pancreatic Cancer Collective Research Team: Targeting Stem Cell Signals in Pancreatic Cancer New Therapies Challenge Research Team.

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

PUBLICATIONS

This team started its work in November 2018; links to publications will be posted when they are available.

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 don’t get completed because not enough people participate.

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