2017 GRANTEE: Vladimir Bogdanov, PhD
University of Cincinnati
Co-principal Investigator: Syed Arif Ahmad, MD
Research Project: Disrupting Tissue Factor-beta1 Integrin Axis in Pancreatic Cancer
Award: 2017 Gail V. Coleman-Kenneth M. Bruntel – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Translational Research Grant
Award Period: July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019
Dr. Bogdanov is an associate professor of internal medicine and director of the hemostasis research program at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He conducted his undergraduate studies at First Pavlov Medical University in St. Petersburg, Russia, and then received his master’s degree and PhD and underwent postdoctoral training at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. His work focuses on the role of the blood coagulation system in health and disease, including pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Ahmad is a professor of surgery and director of the division of surgical oncology at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He brings extensive clinical expertise in gastrointestinal and pancreaticobiliary malignancies to the project team. Dr. Ahmad received his BA in zoology from Duke University and then attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore, for his MD. His surgical, oncology and research training took place at Pennsylvania Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University, respectively.
The overall objective of Drs. Bogdanov and Ahmad’s project is to evaluate the efficacy of a novel drug that they recently developed to treat pancreatic cancer. The drug they’re studying is called RabMab1, and it is an antibody (a molecule used to target foreign agents by the immune system) designed to target an abnormal version of a protein called tissue factor (TF) that is produced by pancreatic cancer cells, but much less so by normal cells.
The first aim of the researchers’ project will focus on assessing the effects of treating mice with pancreatic cancer with RabMab1. They will study how the drug gets broken down within the mouse and how the drug affects normal and cancer cells.
Drs. Bogdanov and Ahmad and their colleagues will also evaluate the levels of abnormal TF in pancreatic cancer patients’ blood and tissue samples at different timepoints throughout their disease. They hypothesize that high levels of abnormal TF may indicate disease progression due to treatment resistance in pancreatic cancer patients.
The findings from this translational research project will set the foundation for Phase I/II clinical trials testing RabMab1 in advanced pancreatic cancer patients. Drs. Bogdanov and Ahmad enjoy a fruitful ongoing collaboration and meet regularly to discuss their work, raising confidence in the likely success of the project.