Stand Up To Cancer, an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, has announced a partnership with the Lustgarten Foundation, the Fox Family Cancer Research Funding Trust, and the American Association for Cancer Research to create a "dream team" dedicated to pancreatic cancer research.
Funded in part by a gift from the Fox Family Cancer Research Funding Trust, the SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team Translational Research Grant will provide $8 million over three years in support of efforts to study and find ways to treat pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which is resistant to most forms of therapy and is one of the deadliest types of cancer. Adopting a "convergence" approach that brings together experts in the fields of immunotherapy, genetics, informatics, biostatistics, regulatory and clinical trials, cancer biology, and pathology from nine institutions, the team will work to develop new therapies that exploit patients' own immune cells to treat their cancers. AACR, SU2C's scientific partner organization, will administer the grant and provide ongoing scientific oversight.
"Pancreatic cancer suppresses the body's anti-tumor immune response," said team leader Elizabeth M. Jaffee, a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-director of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. “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 anti-tumor immune cells and then use other agents to get those cells into the pancreas, where they can attack the tumor.
In partnership with the Farrah Fawcett Foundation and AACR, and with additional support from the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation, SU2C also announced a grant of $1.2 million over three years in support of HPV-related cancer research focused on patients who relapse following initial therapy or for whom few therapeutic options are available.
"It's estimated that more than thirty-thousand HPV-associated cancers occur each year in the United States alone,” said SU2C co-founder Sherry Lansing. "Research into new therapies that will benefit patients is urgently needed."