Flinders University researchers have been awarded funding to run a clinical trial of a new Pancreatic Cancer treatment.
Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, from the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, in collaboration with Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, have been awarded funding to develop and test a novel vaccine in treating one of the world’s deadliest cancers.
“Pancreatic cancer is currently one of the toughest cancers to treat, and in many cases at the time it is diagnosed it’s too late to surgically remove and cure the tumour,” says Professor Petrovsky.
Pancreatic cancer currently has a survival rate of just 8%, and is set to be the second leading cause of cancer deaths by 2030.
“While new immunotherapies have shown promise in other cancers such as melanoma, most pancreatic cancers do not respond to such therapies.”
Made possible by the charity Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, the grant funding will allow the team to complete an early phase clinical trial of their novel cancer vaccine in patients with late stage pancreatic cancer.
Dr Kichenadasse’s team was awarded $100,000 by the Foundation to pursue this cutting-edge pancreatic cancer research.
“We intend to find out whether our cancer vaccine can help make pancreatic cancer visible to the immune system, so that the approved immune therapy drugs can then unleash an immune attack against the cancer,” says Professor Petrovsky.
“The team has come up with multiple innovative approaches to the immune treatment of cancers and on the back of these breakthroughs wish to setup a Cancer Immunotherapy Centre of Excellence within Flinders to fast-track these exciting cancer approaches.
“This grant from the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation will be a great stepping stone in this ambition and is timely recognition of the world class cancer research being undertaken at Flinders.”
The planned trial will test a new combination approach for pancreatic cancer, combining a personalised cancer vaccine (Radvax) with an already approved immunotherapy drug.