Targeting mechanisms of pancreatic cancer resistance against therapy:specific role of tumour microenvironment (2018-2019)

Monika Jakubowska, Homing 3/2017

International Associated Laboratory LIA

Homing 3/2017 - Project entitled: 

Targeting mechanisms of pancreatic cancer resistance against therapy:specific role of tumour microenvironment (2018-2019)


Pancreatic cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths, affecting annually as much as 340 000 people worldwide. Owing to its high resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or combination of those two, pancreatic cancer remains one of the major unresolved health problems, with the lowest of all cancers survival rate (<5%) five years post diagnosis. This translates into a devastating prognosis for the patients, especially those suffering from the advanced metastatic disease, who currently may may only receive palliative medical care. Although enormous scientific efforts have been directed towards development of novel therapeutic strategies against pancreatic cancer, virtually no measurable improvement has been achieved over the last 50 years.

The project aims to investigate the fundamental cellular signalling events mediated by ions and small molecules in the context of hypoxia (low oxygen availability in the tissue) as well as mutations in Kras gene. Importantly, in humans mutated KRAS gene is the major initiator of pancreatic tumourigenesis, and hypoxia may affect the efficiency of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Further, this project will provide new insights on cytoprotective antioxidant proteins response in restoration of the redox balance in pancreatic tissue. By elucidating the roles ions and small molecules play in development of distinctive microenvironment in precancerous lesions and tumors, the project would deliver R&D relevant knowledge on the potential targets in the therapy of pancreatic cancer.

Research collaborators within the project network:
International - Dr Catherine Hogan and Prof. Ole H. Petersen, Cardiff University, UK; Prof. Markus M. Lerch, Medical University of Greifswald, Germany 
National - Prof. Alicja Józkowicz and Prof. Piotr Richter, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland
Students - Kinga Stopa, Monika Paciorek, International Associated Laboratory LIA, MCB, Krakow
φ:bro project - Dr Paweł Ferdek and Agnieszka Kusiak, Jagiellonian Univeristy, Krakow, Poland