Improving our understanding of the oncogenic signalling-metabolism nexus to design better treatments for pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

Professor Nigel Turner

University of New South Wales (NSW)


2024 - 2027

The Research

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies, with a 5-year survivorship after diagnosis of approximately 10%, a figure that has not improved significantly in the past 20 years. Accordingly, pancreatic cancer incidence and mortality will continue to rise in the next decade, and it is predicted to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer death worldwide by 2030. The exceedingly poor survival for pancreatic cancer patients, highlights an urgent need to identify new molecular targets and approaches to improve patient outcomes. The dismal prognosis associated with the disease stems from several factors, including the fact that it is a highly aggressive cancer that has typically spread to distal sites at the time of diagnosis, and it displays resistance to many conventional therapies, including chemotherapy. Although surgical resection is the most effective treatment for pancreatic cancer, <20% of cases have a tumour that is surgically resectable at the time of diagnosis. This means that chemotherapy is the only treatment option for most patients.

The overarching aim of this project is to use cutting edge imaging approaches to shed light on how changes in nutrient metabolism and intracellular signalling contribute to two lethal characteristics of pancreatic cancer, namely chemoresistance and metastatic spread.


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