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Igor Astsaturov Receives Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Grant for Research on the Netrin-1 Molecule and Metastasis

April 4, 2019

Igor Astsaturov, MD, PhD, received a PCAN grant to support research into potential new therapies for pancreatic cancer. The ultimate aim is clinical trials for a Netrin-1 treatment.Igor Astsaturov, MD, PhD, received a PCAN grant to support research into potential new therapies for pancreatic cancer. The ultimate aim is clinical trials for a Netrin-1 treatment.

PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2019) — Igor Astsaturov, MD, PhD, co-leader of the Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center, received a grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to support research into potential new therapies for pancreatic cancer. The $48,877 grant is part of a larger study in conjunction with Darren Carpizo, MD, PhD at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Astsaturov will provide the preclinical platform to enable research on the Netrin-1 molecule. It is a molecule important to the development of the nervous system, but recent studies also associate it with metastatic development of breast, lung, ovarian, and brain cancers. In these cases, Netrin-1 acted as a survival signal for the cancer cells.

With this grant, the researchers will compare metastasis in pancreatic cancers with and without activated Netrin-1 to gauge its importance to the cancer’s spread and survival. Their ultimate aim is that this work will lead to clinical trials for a Netrin-1 treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“Currently, about 80 percent of pancreatic cancer patients have metastatic disease at the time of their diagnosis,” Astsaturov said. “Surgery can be effective for localized disease, but most patients need effective new chemotherapy options, and we are grateful to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for supporting our effort to make progress toward that goal.”

       

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