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Dr. Dan Renouf: Uncovering Novel Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer

April 9, 2015

It’s great to be invited back to the BC Cancer Foundation Blog. I work at the BC Cancer Agency as a medical oncologist and clinical researcher with a focus on pancreatic cancer and the development of new anti-cancer drugs.

Pancreatic cancer is a common and very aggressive cancer, and our group at the BC Cancer Agency and Pancreas Centre BC is focused on trying to find ways to improve our ability to detect this cancer sooner, and develop more tailored and effective therapies.

This is a very exciting time in pancreatic cancer research. Our understanding of the cellular and genetic changes that lead to pancreatic cancer has dramatically increased which is leading new ideas on how to monitor and treat these cancers. In addition there have been several recent breakthroughs with two new therapies approved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer in the last several years.

One of our groups’ major interests is in understanding differences between individual pancreatic cancers. This would potentially allow for more individualized and effective treatment strategies, and also further our understanding on how these cancers start in the first place. We’re also studying novel ways to treat this cancer, including a study that is assessing how an anti-diabetes drug acts on pancreatic cancer.

In addition, our group is quite interested in ways to improve our ability to detect pancreatic cancers, and one of the areas we’re exploring is looking for the presence of tiny fragments of cancer DNA within the blood stream.

There is a lot of exciting research happening in pancreatic cancer in B.C. and the need for more advances to treat this challenging disease keeps us very motivated.

In my blogs this month I’ll focus in on some of the areas our group and others are working on, with next weeks’ blog looking at new anti-cancer agents being developed in pancreatic cancer.