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Professor John F. Marshall

Professor John MarshallResearch Institution: Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London

Award: £180,000  Duration: 30 months

Project Title: Development of a new peptide-drug conjugate for treating αvβ6-positive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

Project Aims: Professor Marshall has used previous PCRF funding to study the molecule alpha-v beta-6, which is found at high levels on the surface of 90 per cent of pancreatic cancer cells, but not on healthy cells.  He has developed a new drug made from a protein fragment (a peptide) that can find and attach itself to alpha-v beta-6, and has combined it with a potent natural poison to kill the cancer cells and leave healthy cells unharmed. The peptide-drug has proved successful in tests on pancreatic cancer cells and on mice with pancreatic cancer.  The new grant will enable Professor Marshall to further test the peptide-drug with different types of pancreatic cancer and answer important questions about how it works, with a view to taking it to clinical trial.