The discovery of pancreatic cancer subtypes has been a significant step forward in our mission to understand more about this disease and treat it better. It also means that this disease is more personal to a patient than we could have imagined – right down to the molecular level.
Because of this, researchers believe the future of treating pancreatic cancer is in personalized medicine, which enables doctors to tailor treatment plans specifically to an individual patient based on disease subtypes and other medical considerations.
Enter PASS-01: an exciting collaboration between a group of the foremost cancer centres in North America focused on exploring personalized medicine in pancreatic cancer using cutting-edge organoid technology.
We have brought together some of the finest pancreatic cancer researchers in North America; the time is right to dig in much deeper to help understand pancreatic cancer. We need to stop assuming one size fits all and instead advance the field by gaining a better understanding of every tumour. We believe our work can help doctors treat patients optimally today while providing a better understanding of this deadly disease into the near future.
The next frontier in patient care
Through the use of genomic analysis and organoid technology, PASS-01 aims to determine potential predictors of patient response to chemotherapy, as well as the identification of specific biomarkers that indicate which pancreatic cancer responds better to one treatment or another.
What is an organoid?
What are the goals of this trial?
Give patients more time with their loved ones and better quality of life through access to novel drugs they might not otherwise receive.
Increase our foundational understanding about the different subtypes of pancreatic cancer and the efficacy of potential biomarkers to help inform treatment plans for future patients.
Support personalized medicine becoming standard of care, giving each pancreatic cancer patient the best possible outcome based on their subtype.
Building on a legacy of promising research
Updated from Dr. Jennifer Knox, Primary Investigator, on the progress of the PASS-01 Trial, Fall 2022
PASS-01 is benefiting patients right now, while helping us increase our understanding of pancreatic cancer and how different subtypes of the disease respond to various treatments. In addition to the progress we’re seeing in the prognosis and quality of life of patients, other important advancements are being made as a result of this trial:
- PASS-01 researchers have discovered that 5% of pancreatic cancer patients have a specific mutation that appears to indicate a better prognosis. Five percent is not insignificant for a cancer like pancreatic where biomarkers are few and far between.
- Scientists have developed new software through the PASS-01 study that significantly increases the speed and capacity for screening tumour samples.
- Based on insights learned through PASS-01, investigators are considering development of AI tools that will allow for more immediate assessment of a tumour’s sensitivity to a broader range of therapies.
- The level of collaboration between leading cancer centers working across geographic borders, healthcare systems, and institutions has been tremendously successful and is setting a standard for future studies.