Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Receives NCI SPORE Grant to Improve Outcomes for Patients with Pancreatic Cancer

Left to right: Eileen M. O'Reilly, MD, Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced that it has been awarded a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for pancreatic research by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The long-term goal of the grant is to demonstrate that prospective, next-generation molecular approaches combined with state-of-the-art clinical management can improve outcomes of patients with pancreas cancer. 

Specifically, MSK researchers will leverage cutting-edge molecular knowledge of pancreas biology combined with clinical innovations to improve outcomes for patients with stage III and IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) by building upon recent developments in cytotoxic and targeted therapies; build upon expertise in imaging, molecular diagnostics, biomarker development, and single-cell analyses to develop and validate prospective biomarkers of treatment response and resistance in PDAC; and investigate two avenues of surmounting intrinsic immunotherapy resistance in PDAC.

“As researchers and clinicians, we are constantly striving to create better treatment options and outcomes for the patients that we care for,” said Eileen M. O’Reilly, MD, Co-Director, Medical Initiatives, David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, at MSK. “The NCI SPORE grant will allow us to collaborate in new ways to make our overall research efforts stronger.”

MSK’s SPORE in Pancreas Cancer is organized around three projects. Each project is headed by basic and clinical investigators who work together to address a specific aspect of the disease. The projects have their own co-leaders, but the researchers for all of the projects constantly collaborate. The three projects, include:

  • Project 1: Total Neoadjuvant Therapy (TNT) for Borderline Resectable and Locally Advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
  • Project 2: Homologous recombination deficiency and beyond in pancreatic cancer: evaluating the regulators of response to pembrolizumab and olaparib (POLAR) from the immune and genomic perspectives
  • Project 3: Recombinant Interleukin-33 Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

“With this new grant from the NCI, we aim to leverage state-of-the-art and novel therapies to improve outcomes for patients with stage III/IV pancreas cancer,” said Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, MD, PhD, David M. Rubenstein Center Chair for Pancreatic Cancer Research, at MSK. “We will do this by providing centralized administrative support of the daily activities, coordination for all educational and scientific activities, and establish a Career Enhancement Program (CEP).”

John Connolly
Number: (917) 816-6551
Email: [email protected]