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Identifying novel combination therapies for the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Metabolomics for early detection of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Recurrence

Project details: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a lethal malignancy having a 5 year survival rate of less than 5%. The main reasons for these dismal statistics is the fact that PDAC is always diagnosed at advanced stages and at this stage, surgery is not possible. Most patients are treated with various chemotherapeutic drugs that are meant to kill the cancerous cells. However, cancer cells can quickly develop ways to resist the harmful effects of these drugs and efforts are being made to identify ways to overcome this chemotherapy resistance. One of the ways that this can be done is by looking at new drug combinations that might work better together than when either drug is given alone.

This project aims to identify novel combination therapies for the treatment of PDAC. We aim to exploit the reliance of the cancer on altered metabolic pathways and this will be done by looking at changes in the protein/metabolite levels in the early development of PDAC by conducting a systematic review. These identified pathways will be further studied in advanced disease to identify suitable targets for treatment using cell line models.

Primary supervisor: Dr Richard Turkington (Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences)
Secondary supervisor: Dr Brian Green (Biological Sciences)
External Partner/Organisation: Almac Diagnostics