Translational Genome Research Network in Pancreatic Cancer

Coordinator:    Prof. Dr. Thomas M. Gress
Institution: Philipps-Universität Marburg, Klinik für Innere Medizin SP Gastroenterologie
Virtually every pancreatic cancer patient will die within the first year after diagnosis, making pancreatic cancer the 4th to 5th most common cause of cancer related deaths in the western world. Conventional means of diagnosis and treatment are unsatisfactory at present. The genome project has generated knowledge and technology with great potential to contribute to the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis in the pancreas and to provide molecular targets. However, even though multiple genome scale screening approaches of pancreatic tumors and their preneoplastic lesions have been conducted, only few targets have reached the level of preclinical or clinical applications. The fact that the tumor is hard to study in humans due to its particular anatomical and histopathological characteristics, the lack of well characterized clinical resources, and in particular the limited availability of valid in-vitro and mouse models of the disease have previously been rate limiting steps. In order to overcome these limitations, German centers of excellence in pancreatic cancer research have within the PaCa-Net consortium cooperated with genome research groups and partners from the pharmaceutical industry in an integrated approach for an efficient characterization and exploitation of genome project candidate genes for pancreatic cancer. With the help of this close collaboration across different sites and scientific disciplines, a number of important advances have been reached, ranging from the development of novel relevant model systems and the identification of important, previously unknown gene functions to the discovery of novel therapeutic substances and the development of advanced molecular diagnostic systems.

Latest results can be found in detail in the descriptions of the subprojects
INTRANET (Members login)