Advanced pancreatic cancer is almost entirely resistant to current treatments, including immunotherapy. One reason why appears to be the presence of cancer stem cells that are extremely resilient and can drive the relapse of tumors even after treatment has eliminated most of the other tumor cells. However, these cancer stem cells also appear to depend on the network of other cells in the tumor, including some immune cells, to survive. Therefore, Dr. Bruno Sainz is focused on teasing apart this relationship between cancer stem cells and pro-cancer immune cells by characterizing the role of a specific protein secreted by these immune cells. Specifically, he aims to study the protein’s function, confirm its role in tumor progression, and target it to inhibit tumor growth. Ultimately, Dr. Sainz’s goal is to use this knowledge to develop new therapeutic strategies to eliminate cancer stem cells and thus provide more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer patients.
Projects and Grants
Role of the innate immune system in promoting cancer stem cells
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) | Pancreatic Cancer | 2014
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