Our lab seeks to understand how pancreatic cancer cells adapt to a nutrient deprived microenvironment and other forms of cancer-associated stress. We believe that if we can determine how pancreatic cancer cells survive and thrive under uniquely severe conditions, we will identify metabolic dependencies and vulnerabilities. Since normal cells are well perfused and not dependent on such survival pathways, these targets represent promising therapeutic opportunities with a natural therapeutic window. We have identified isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 as an important component of the pancreatic cancer cell antioxidant defense system, and mitochondrial biology, as two examples of key metabolic dependencies.
Chief, Surgical Oncology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center