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Genetic targets of pancreatic cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Owen Sansom
  • Institution: Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Award Amount: £206,365 for 3 years from April 2015
  • Cancer Type: Pancreatic Cancer
Genetic targets of pancreatic cancer
Professor Owen Sansom and his team want to find new ways to attack pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer, which is diagnosed in almost 9,000 new patients in the UK every year*, is one of the hardest cancers to treat. This cancer spreads early, is difficult to remove by surgery, and is often drug resistant. New approaches to treatment are desperately needed. Professor Sansom is studying a gene, called MYC, which pancreatic cancer cells seem to need to survive. The problem is, healthy cells also rely on this gene. So scientists have to find crafty new ways to make sure any new MYC-targeted therapy would kill only cancer cells, and not normal cells. This is the ultimate goal for Professor Sansom. But to do this he first must find out exactly why pancreatic cancer cells are so reliant on MYC, and study other genes and proteins which are connected in to the MYC ‘network’. Professor Sansom said: “There is a lot we still don’t know, but I want to find out if targeting MYC indirectly through one of these other molecules might be a way to get to pancreatic cancer.” * Latest statistics from Cancer Research UK
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