Recap: The 5th NCI Pancreatic Cancer Symposium

Perwez Hussain

Perwez Hussain, Ph.D., delivers opening remarks at the 5th NCI Pancreatic Cancer Symposium.
Photo credit: Daniel Sone

The 5th NCI Pancreatic Cancer Symposium took place on October 2-3, 2018 and was attended by about 300 participants from across the United States and abroad. This year’s symposium was jointly organized by the NCI Pancreatic Cancer Interest Group and the Medical University of Gottingen, Germany. The symposium covered the latest advancements in the field and provided novel insights in the area of early detection, epidemiology, tumor biology including metabolic reprograming and inflammatory/immune signaling and tumor stromal interaction, and it highlighted the challenges in developing treatment strategies to improve patient outcomes. 

The two-day symposium included two plenary lectures by David Tuveson, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, and Benjamin Stanger, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, as well as 30 oral presentations by leaders in the field. Many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows presented posters and discussed their findings with the participants and initiated collaborations between intramural and extramural scientists working on pancreatic cancer. The overall discussion underscored the necessity of considering individual biological characteristics of each tumor for both identifying novel targets and improving treatment response to existing therapeutic regimens. The development of human pancreatic cancer organoids and their potential in therapy guidance as well as elucidation of novel mechanisms involving epithelial reprogramming to enhance invasive and metastatic potential were discussed as some of the key progresses in this area. Additionally, the pros and cons of neoadjuvant therapy, molecularly targeted immunotoxin, modulation of the biophysical properties of tumors, inflammatory mediators as candidate targets and novel models of resectable pancreatic cancer were discussed.

Summary Posted: Mon, 10/01/2018