GRANTEE: Jonathan Brody, PhD
Thomas Jefferson University
Co-Principal Investigator: Michael Pishvaian, MD, PhD, Georgetown University
Co-Principal Investigator: Christopher Albanese, PhD, Georgetown University
Co-Principal Investigator: Subha Madhavan, PhD, Georgetown University
Co-Principal Investigator: Emanuel Petricoin III, PhD, George Mason University
Research Project: Developing an algorithm for Molecular Tailored Therapy
Award: 2015 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – AACR Research Acceleration Network Grant
Award Period: July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2018
Dr. Brody is an associate professor and director of surgical research, department of surgery and pathology, at Thomas Jefferson University. He received the Skip Viragh – Career Development Award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in 2010. Dr. Brody is the overall scientific team leader for this project.
Dr. Pishvaian is an assistant professor in the division of hematology/oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), and clinical director of the Phase I program. He will serve as the overall clinical team leader.
Dr. Madhavan is director of the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics (ICBI) at the Georgetown University Medical Center and associate professor of oncology. She is the bioinformatics program leader for this grant.
Dr. Albanese is professor in the departments of oncology and pathology at Georgetown University and deputy director of the Center for Cellular Reprogramming. He is the program leader for conditionally reprogrammed cancer cell lines (CRCs).
Dr. Petricoin is a university professor and the co-director of the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at George Mason University. He will be the phosphoprotein program leader.
Experience has shown that a one-size-fits-all approach to treating pancreatic cancer has not been successful. Therefore, efforts are underway to personalize treatment to each patient’s tumor’s molecular profile – the unique gene and protein alterations that occur to allow the growth and progression of cancer cells. Preliminary evidence suggests that this Molecularly Tailored Therapy (MTT) approach is superior to the standard care for pancreatic cancer patients but rigorous testing is necessary to verify this hypothesis. Dr. Brody and his team of investigators seek to validate and expand upon previous findings by launching an unprecedented clinical trial directly comparing MTT with physicians’ choice treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer patients. Additionally, patients’ tumor cells will be carefully analyzed before and after treatment to better understand the effects treatments have on the cells, and to try to elucidate and bypass mechanisms by which cancer cells become resistant to treatments.