UNC Lineberger scientist receives grant for pancreatic cancer research

The Lustgarten Foundation, the nation’s largest foundation dedicated solely to funding pancreatic cancer research, has awarded Channing Der, PhD, a $1.165 million grant to identify promising drug combinations for potential future use in clinical trials.

Der’s research will focus on the role of K-Ras gene mutation in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).  The gene is mutated in more than 90 percent of these cancers, activating cell signaling pathways that lead to tumor formation.  Previous research has shown that inhibiting only one signaling pathway is ineffective in stopping PDAC tumor growth.  The grant will fund research into a downstream cell signal that is restored in therapy-resistant PDAC and will look for combinations of drugs that work together to overcome drug resistance in these tumors.

Read related coverage in the April 15, 2012 issue of The ASCO PostIcon indicating that a link will open an external site. (see page 9).