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Groundbreaking Research Begins for Pancreatic and Lung Cancers
Date:4/1/2009

Georgia Institute of Technology and Saint Joseph's Hospital Team Up

ATLANTA, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Tech and Saint Joseph's Hospital have joined together to begin the first regional research program to study the genetics and cell biology of pancreatic cancer. Tissue and serum samples from patients with cancer are being scrutinized to identify the differences in genetic and cellular features between normal and tumor cells. Findings from this research will be used for the ultimate purpose of developing tests for early diagnosis and identifying specific, targeted therapies to treat pancreatic cancer.

"The traditional treatment philosophy of 'one size fits all' is quickly becoming obsolete," says George Daneker, MD, the Medical Director of Oncology Research at Saint Joseph's Hospital and co-principal investigator of the study. "No two individuals are alike nor are two cancers; each is unique based on genetic and protein makeup."

Working with John McDonald, PhD, Chair of the School of Biology at Georgia Tech, and based on the research strategies from the acclaimed work of Dr. McDonald and Benedict Beningo, MD, with ovarian cancer patients, the current research is the first to focus on pancreatic cancer, accepted to be the most fatal of common cancers. Pancreatic cancer is similar to ovarian cancer in that it often goes undetected until the disease is too far advanced for curative therapy.

Dr. McDonald, recognized as a world authority in molecular genetics and genomics and Dr. Daneker, a surgical oncologist with an extensive background in basic and translational research, are applying state-of-the-art technologies toward identifying aberrant molecular and cellular mechanisms. Using microarray technology, gene expression patterns in pancreatic tumor tissue are compared with those present in the normal pancreas tissue. Microarray technology allows e
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SOURCE Saint Joseph's Hospital Atlanta
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