We donate funds collected from this event to the Purdue Cancer Research Center, as it has several areas of research going on addressing pancreatic cancer. Below are a few examples. Some are pancreatic cancer specific while others are not.

Research points to a new treatment for pancreatic cancer


Studying pancreatic cancer cell metabolism and developing drugs that target essential metabolic pathways like cholesterol metabolism.

Using Purdue engineered apparatus that allows isolation and study of circulating pancreatic cancer cells.  This will help us understand how cancer spreads and also will help us monitor responses to chemotherapy early in the treatment process.

Participating with IU Simon Cancer Center in a major NIH grant for the study of pancreatic cancer.  The grant is called a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) that if awarded, will bring in $2.5 Million a year for 5 years.

Created a 3-D volumetric hologram of living tissue that has enabled the study of very subtle real time movements within cells, using interferometry (detecting molecular motion).  Using this technology, termed Holographic Tissue Dynamic Spectroscopy (TDS), Purdue researchers are monitoring diagnostic changes in cells to determine drug effects.  The process rapidly assesses the impact of drugs on cancer cells, offering the potential for rapid evaluation of potential therapeutics in cancer.  The technology is being applied to multiple cancers including pancreatic cancer.  The TDS system should enable treating physicians to personalize treatment by moving away from treatments that do not work to those that are more effective.

Created a new drug, which is now owned by Endocyte, that targets pancreatic cancer and reduces side effects because the chemotherapeutic agent is not active in normal cells.  The chemotherapy agent is accompanied by an imaging agent that will identify pancreatic cancer patients who are likely to respond to treatment.  This is a superb example of personalized medicine.

Developing a novel imaging technology termed Photoacoustic computed tomography (like a CT scan).  The new imaging allows for identifying areas that have high blood circulation.  Researchers can monitor therapy that inhibits blood vessel formation and helps chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer.  The novel imaging technology has the potential to monitor responses to treatment.

Developed new animal models that have helped identify the cells that are responsible for the development of pancreatic cancer.  These studies are identifying the cause of pancreatic cancer and will form the foundation for new therapeutics.

Studying cell signaling in pancreatic cancer and identifying a pathway that, when inhibited, increases the sensitivity of the pancreatic cancers to chemotherapy.