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Pancreatic Cancer SPORE

Pancreatic cancer accounts for only 2% of all newly diagnosed cancers each year; however, it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Depending on the stage at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally poor with a high mortality rate. In comparison to other disease sites, such as breast and prostate, awareness of pancreatic cancer is limited.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of three centers to receive a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for pancreatic cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Study Group is a SPORE project with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment for pancreatic cancer. Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the SPORE brings an interdisciplinary approach to translational research, concentrating in the areas of epidemiology, cancer genetics, cancer biology and molecular therapeutics.

The goal of the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE grant is to facilitate innovative research into the biology and therapy of pancreatic cancer. We continue to pursue this goal by assembling a critical mass of investigators dedicated to collaborative translational research, leading eventually to the elimination of pancreatic cancer in the United States and throughout the world. Toward this end, we have continued to fund our Developmental Research program with institutional funds. This approach has allowed us to discover and explore novel targets for treatment of pancreatic cancer – one of the most pressing needs for patients affected by this disease.

Currently, five investigators are receiving funding to pursue research directly relevant to pancreatic cancer. As we move into our final year of funding the MD Anderson pancreatic SPORE investigators are working to develop our proposal for a P50 SPORE focused on pancreatic cancer. These developmental efforts will be well-represented in our new proposal.

The MD Anderson SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer includes three main areas: research, comprising the five main projects; research support, comprising the three cores; and research development, comprising the Developmental Research Program and Career Development Program.

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center