Pancreatic Cancer is the 14th common of all cancer entities while leading to the 7th largest number of deaths in 2020. The high mortality is due to late diagnosis and restricted therapy options. Therefore, it is enormously important to advance research in this area to improve screening, early detection, and treatment of this deadly disease.
Biomarkers offer a very important starting point – both for detection and therapeutic targets. Currently, there are no markers known for early detection of pancreatic cancer. There are some markers like CA 19-9 and CEA to document the course of the disease and for detecting a relapse. However, despite the use of these and other markers, they do not provide sufficient information due to low sensitivity and specificity. It is indispensable to find new and better biomarkers that can be used for screening, therapy algorithms, or even as novel therapeutic targets.
As part of my MD project, I want to establish a new workflow to simplify the analysis of biomarkers, which are currently unknown in pancreatic cancer. I will use TMA’s collected as part of the PANCALYZE study to test various markers histologically and afterwards evaluate their mechanistic impact experimentally.