The majority of pancreatic cancer patients will present with metastatic disease. The protein called integrin αvβ6 is significantly up-regulated in pancreatic cancer, including in metastases. αvβ6 is a particularly attractive target for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT).
Certain peptides have been shown to be promising for treatment of advanced neuroendocrine tumors and castration-resistant prostate cancer. Team researchers have developed a radiolabeled peptide for use in PET imaging, and with this new agent have been able to successfully create images of metastases of pancreatic cancers. They now aim to further develop this peptide for research and clinical uses.
The team is performing all the necessary preclinical testing including in vivo imaging and assessment of therapeutic efficacy in murine models of pancreatic cancer, toxicology studies, preparation of chemistry manufacturing, control documentation, and preparation of a clinical protocol, culminating in the submission of an investigational new drug to the U.S. FDA for a first-in-human therapy trial. The completion of phase I will allow the researchers to rapidly move to a multisite therapeutic trial of this agent in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
This team is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, an initiative of the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and Stand Up To Cancer.