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Dr. John Marshall

Dr. John MarshallResearch Institution: Centre for Tumour Biology, Barts Cancer Institute 

Award: £180,000 Duration: 3 years

Project Title: Using Transgenic Mouse Models to Develop Integrin avb6-Targeted Therapy of Pancreatic Cancer

Project Aims: In a previous PCRF-funded project, Dr Marshall identified a molecule known as integrin alpha v beta 6 (avb6) that is found on the surface of cancerous pancreatic cells (but not normal pancreas cells) and allows them to invade healthy tissues more easily. In laboratory tests, he also found antibodies to stop avb6 from working properly and this prevented them from moving, invading and growing. Building on that research, this new project aims to progress the tests using specially bred mice that get pancreatic cancer which closely mimics the development of the human form of the disease. Furthermore, Dr Marshall hopes to develop a new strain of mice which lack avb6 completely, to see if these mice are unable to develop pancreatic cancer. If this is the case, then this study may provide enough data to allow the development of clinical trials using antibodies to block avb6.