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Igor Astsaturov Receives Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Grant for Research on the Netrin-1 Molecule and Metastasis
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.”
Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.
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