A team of researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UC San Diego was awarded a $5.75 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the correlation between obesity, inflammation and pancreatic cancer, it was announced Wednesday.
“We know that the biological mechanisms of obesity, such as inflammation, can lead to the development of pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Guido Eibl, professor-in-residence in the department of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.
“This study will help us better understand not only how those mechanisms influence the formation of pancreatic tumors but also how we can develop preventions that help people who are at a higher risk for this cancer,” Eibl said.
The five-year study will be structured into three projects. The first, overseen by Eibl, will examine the inflammation of body fat and how this chronic condition can lead to pancreatic cancer.
The second, led by Jonsson Cancer Center researcher Dr. Enrique Rozengurt, who holds the Hirschberg Memorial Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research at UCLA, will focus on the use of medications, and their mechanisms, in helping to prevent pancreatic cancer from developing in high-risk people.
The third project, led by Dr. Stephen Pandol of Cedars-Sinai, will study the pancreatic cancer microenvironment, which includes cancer tissues and surrounding tissues that support the cancer’s growth, to understand how the environment is changed as a result of obesity and inflammation.
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