New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
February 23, 2017
Identification of new cell types that support growth of pancreatic cancer

Christine Iok In Chio, PhD (Damon Runyon Shirley Stein Fellow ’13-’17), in the laboratory of her sponsor David Tuveson, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, created a new 3D model of pancreatic cancer, which allowed them to identify two distinct stroma cell populations called cancer-associated fibroblasts  (CAF’s), that work together with cancer cells to protect and help the tumor grow. One reason pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat is the dense stromal tissue that envelops tumors and acts as a physical barrier that blocks drug delivery. Since CAFs secrete extracellular matrix, which surround the cancer cells and shape the stroma, CAFs are attractive targets for drug development of targeted therapies for pancreatic cancer. The findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.