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Molecular imaging biomarkers of gemcitabine resistance in advanced mouse models of pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Recipient: Dr Bart Cornelissen

Host Institution: University of Oxford

Title: Molecular imaging biomarkers of gemcitabine resistance in advanced mouse models of pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Type of award: 2014 Research Innovation Fund

Funding: £72,329

A pancreatic cancer tumour is usually resistant to chemo/radiotherapy and surgery is often not possible because of advanced disease. Early detection can improve outcome by increasing the chances of eradication through surgery. Early knowledge as to whether chemo(radio)-therapy is working or not could prevent unnecessary ineffective treatment thereby enhancing quality of life, and allowing doctors and patients the opportunity to try alternative treatments. One way to detect pancreatic cancers early as well as to measure the efficacy of chemo- and radiotherapy early on in the course of treatment is through molecular scans. This allows us to visualise the processes involved in cancer development and how it is influenced by treatment. These scans are different from standard scans used in clinical practice which can only detect physical consequences of the biological processes that appear much later on in the course of disease/treatment. Here, we propose to develop special molecular scanning techniques and test their usefulness for early detection and treatment efficacy in genetically engineered mice, called KPC mice, which develop pancreatic cancer much in the same way humans do.