Inspire2Live & Pancreatic Cancer
August 3, 2020

Through the Discovery Network in Belfast at the end of 2017 pancreatic cancer was identified as one of the two deadliest forms of cancer with little progress in the treatment for decades and with poor prospects. Themes where Inspire2live is involved can be roughly divided into four topics.

Targeted, personalized therapy

DNA-RNA sequencing based identification of ‘actionable’ targets where three (connected) lines of development can be described:

  1. WGS (whole genome sequencing) as practiced by Hartwig Medical Foundation. Amongst others applied in the PEGASUS project (Amsterdam UMC, Hanneke van Laarhoven)
  2. TGPA (targeted gene panel analysis). Fine tuning of the gene panels involved is ongoing between Amsterdam UMC (Hanneke Wilmink) and ErasmusMC (Casper van Eijck). Starting off with WES (whole exome sequencing) seems at present the most effective approach. The optimal approach is also important with respect to the fine tuning with Madrid (Nuria Malats) and Glasgow (Andrew Biankin) in the context of WikiPanc in which case there is a preference of sharing data through the cbioportal.
  3. Immunotherapeutical approach through data from WGS about the formation of neo-antigens as the basis of personalized therapeutic vaccins. The rationale is developed by Frames (Ronald Plasterk).

Drugscreening in organoids

Two lines of development of can be depicted:

  1. Proof of concept study aiming to test different combinations of MAPK and EGFR inhibitors in the pancreas PDO (patient derived organoids) biobank of the Hub4Organoids in cooperation with Bayer and Roche.
  2. Clinical study in collaboration with MUMC+ (Steven OldeDaminck and colleagues) to test (combinations of) drugs in PDO’s (patient derived organoids) of about 50 patients with the intention to use the outcome/result directly for the treatment of the patient.

Artificial pancreas

Already applied with Type 1 DM (diabetes mellitus) and potentially important for carriers of predisposing genes for pancreatic cancer (so called familial pancreatic cancer).

Palliative treatment of pain in pancreatic cancer with lidocaine

The last two topics have been started recently and are in the phase of starting up small clinical trials.

Henk van Kranen
Patient Advocate