Stand up to Cancer (SU2C), the Lustgarten Foundation and the Fox Family Cancer Research Funding Trust, in cahoots with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) are coming together for pancreatic cancer research. This was announced during a press event at the AACR 2014 Annual Meeting.
This will be executed with an $8 million grant, extended over three years. What is being sought out are novel immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer, which is sorely needed.
The Dream Team will be lead by Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D., professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is also the co-director of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Co-leading the project will be Robert H. Vonderheide, M.D., D.Phil., associate director for translational research at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Pancreatic cancer suppresses the body’s antitumor immune response...These tumors do not allow immune cells that can recognize and kill them to even enter the pancreas. We think we can use vaccination to activate antitumor immune cells and then use other agents to get those cells into the pancreas, where they can attack the tumor.
We intend to convert the immune-suppressive environment of the tumor into one that fosters rejection of the tumor by the immune system.
Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D.