Project 1: Overcoming Tumor-Induced Immune Suppression to Improve Responses to Immunotherapy

Primary Investigators: David Linehan, MD, and David DeNardo, PhD

PDAC ImageDepiction of the fibrosis present in the KPC mouse models of PDACProject 1 of the Pancreas SPORE will examine immune system responses and/or natural killer cells, which have been previously shown to restrain tumor development and progression. Unfortunately, immunotherapy attempts to date have struggled to achieve significant clinical benefits in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Our investigators have previously found that blocking specific cell regulation results in slower tumor growth and improves responses to chemotherapy. Mouse models with PDAC have also shown the prevention of metastasized tumors. The end goal of our project will be to determine the effects, mechanism and possible future drug combinations to help enhance therapeutic outcomes in patients with PDAC. By engaging patients in clinical trials, we will be further able to understand the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy to treat PDAC.

Research Overview for Investigators