Pancreatic cancer is an extremely lethal malignancy. On average, patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer succumb to the disease within 6 months. Research is the only way to defeat pancreatic cancer. My lab is making progress toward finding a cure by detecting the disease earlier and designing novel therapeutic approaches.
David Tuveson’s laboratory uses murine and human models of pancreatic cancer to explore the fundamental biology of malignancy and thereby identify new diagnostic and treatment strategies. The lab’s approaches run the gamut from designing new model systems of disease to developing new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for rapid evaluation in preclinical and clinical settings. The lab’s studies make use of organoid cultures—three-dimensional cultures of normal or cancerous epithelia—as ex vivo models to probe cancer biology. Current projects in the lab explore changes in redox metabolism associated with pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis, dissect signaling by the Ras oncogene, discover new biomarkers of early pancreas cancer, and identify mechanisms of cross-talk between pancreatic cancer cells and the tumor stroma. Novel treatment approaches suggested by these studies are then tested by performing therapeutic experiments in mouse models. To dissect molecular changes associated with pancreatic tumorigenesis, the Tuveson lab has generated a large collection of human patient-derived organoid models. By measuring the therapeutic sensitivities of patient-derived organoids, the lab is working to identify novel strategies to treat patients as well as markers of therapeutic response. The Tuveson Laboratory maintains strong links to clinical research, and the ultimate goal is confirmation of preclinical findings in early-phase trials. Collectively, the lab’s bench-to-bedside approach is codified as the “Cancer Therapeutics Initiative,” and this initiative will provide these same approaches to the entire CSHL cancer community.
Dr. Tuveson serves as Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center and the Chief Scientist for the Lustgarten Foundation.
Overcoming resistance in pancreatic cancer
September 9, 2019
Controlling pancreatic tumor proliferation by targeting malignancy-specific resistance pathways in response to AKT and MAPK blockade.
Of mice and model organisms
July 31, 2019
An in-depth look at how veterinarians at CSHL help take care of the various organisms that help researchers answer fundamental biological questions.
Cancer cell’s “self eating” tactic may be its weakness
July 1, 2019
Pancreatic cancer cells are eating their own mitochondria to survive and spread. New research reveals how, hinting at a possible new drug target.
Sugars that coat proteins are a possible drug target for pancreatitis
June 20, 2019
CA19-9, a complex sugar structure coating proteins, represents a possible drug target for treatment of pancreatitis and prevention of pancreatic cancer.
Special fibroblasts help pancreatic cancer cells evade immune detection
June 13, 2019
Researchers found a specific type of cancer-associated fibroblast interacts with the immune system to help pancreatic cancer cells stay under the radar.
Fighting cancer in 3D
June 7, 2019
David Tuveson, Director of the CSHL Cancer Center, shares insights about his work on organoid technology.
Yacht race raises $6,500 for cancer research
November 29, 2018
The Masthead Cove Yacht Club raised $6,500 from their annual race, which will fund cancer research.
Turning cells against pancreatic cancer
October 26, 2018
Researchers have found a way to turn cancer-supporting cells into cells that restrict the cancerous growth in the pancreas.
Nation’s cancer centers endorse HPV vaccination
June 8, 2018
Dr. Stillman and Dr. Tuveson joined with the leaders of other institutions nationwide in endorsing a statement regarding the HPV vaccine
Organoid profiling personalizes treatments for pancreatic cancer
May 31, 2018
Pancreatic organoids grown from patients' tumors make precision medicine possible
Jacobetz, M. A. and Chan, D. S. and Neesse, A. and Bapiro, T. E. and Cook, N. and Frese, K. K. and Feig, C. and Nakagawa, T. and Caldwell, M. E. and Zecchini, H. I. and Lolkema, M. P. and Jiang, P. and Kultti, A. and Thompson, C. B. and Maneval, D. C. and Jodrell, D. I. and Frost, G. I. and Shepard, H. M. and Skepper, J. N. and Tuveson, D. A. (2013) Hyaluronan impairs vascular function and drug delivery in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer. Gut, 62(1) pp. 112-20.
Perez-Mancera, P. A. and Rust, A. G. and van der Weyden, L. and Kristiansen, G. and Li, A. and Sarver, A. L. and Silverstein, K. A. and Grutzmann, R. and Aust, D. and Rummele, P. and Knosel, T. and Herd, C. and Stemple, D. L. and Kettleborough, R. and Brosnan, J. A. and Li, A. and Morgan, R. and Knight, S. and Yu, J. and Stegeman, S. and Collier, L. S. and ten Hoeve, J. J. and de Ridder, J. and Klein, A. P. and Goggins, M. and Hruban, R. H. and Chang, D. K. and Biankin, A. V. and Grimmond, S. M. and Wessels, L. F. and Wood, S. A. and Iacobuzio-Donahue, C. A. and Pilarsky, C. and Largaespada, D. A. and Adams, D. J. and Tuveson, D. A. (2012) The deubiquitinase USP9X suppresses pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Nature, 486(7402) pp. 266-70.
Cook, N. and Frese, K. K. and Bapiro, T. E. and Jacobetz, M. A. and Gopinathan, A. and Miller, J. L. and Rao, S. S. and Demuth, T. and Howat, W. J. and Jodrell, D. I. and Tuveson, D. A. (2012) Gamma secretase inhibition promotes hypoxic necrosis in mouse pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. J Exp Med, 209(3) pp. 437-44.
Frese, K. K. and Neesse, A. and Cook, N. and Bapiro, T. E. and Lolkema, M. P. and Jodrell, D. I. and Tuveson, D. A. (2012) nab-Paclitaxel potentiates gemcitabine activity by reducing cytidine deaminase levels in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Discov, 2(3) pp. 260-9.
DeNicola, G. M. and Karreth, F. A. and Humpton, T. J. and Gopinathan, A. and Wei, C. and Frese, K. and Mangal, D. and Yu, K. H. and Yeo, C. J. and Calhoun, E. S. and Scrimieri, F. and Winter, J. M. and Hruban, R. H. and Iacobuzio-Donahue, C. and Kern, S. E. and Blair, I. A. and Tuveson, D. A. (2011) Oncogene-induced Nrf2 transcription promotes ROS detoxification and tumorigenesis. Nature, 475(7354) pp. 106-9.Additional materials of the author at
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