- Jason Fleming, M.D., professor, Surgical Oncology
- Anirban Maitra, M.B.B.S, professor, Pathology, and scientific director, Pancreatic Cancer Research Center
- Robert Wolff, M.D., professor, Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, and interim chair, General Oncology
- Increase the five-year survival rate from 5% to more than 20%
- Decrease the percentage of patients with inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma at diagnosis from 85% to 70%
- Early detection blood test/diagnostic biomarker: A study revealed the potential of a protein that could lead to an early detection blood test. The protein was found in blood samples of nearly all 200 participants with pancreatic cancer but absent in samples of 100 healthy volunteers. Patients with more advanced disease had higher levels of the protein. This discovery is being validated in a larger group of patients.
- Prognostic biomarkers: The team is working on validating biomarkers that can help identify patients amenable to certain drugs and at a higher risk of treatment failure.
- Drug development and immunotherapy: A newly discovered inhibitor of cancer metabolism is in MD Anderson's Institute for Applied Cancer Science drug discovery pipeline. Phase I trials for pancreatic cancer are slated for 2016. The team also is exploring adoptive cellular therapy: removing a patient's T cells, enhancing or modifying them in the lab and infusing them back into the patient to kill tumor cells.
- MD Anderson's first pancreatic cancer high-risk clinic: This clinic will serve people at increased risk for screening and counseling.
Podcast at http://bit.ly/1ODtf2u