My laboratory has developed a model of pancreatic cancer in the rat by implantation of the carcinogen DMBA in the pancreas. We are characterizing the genetic mutations which accumulate in the carcinogenesis sequence, attempting to develop from this tumor a cell line and tranplantable cancer in nude mice or inbred strains. We are using the model and other cells lines to study the mechanisms of action of chemotherapeutic agents. We are also trying to replicate the model in mice to allow the use of knockout technology as a tool for dissecting pathogenetic factors.
We have a pancreatic cancer database which we use to study outcomes of treatment, and have a particular focus on staging by laparoscopy, peritoneal cytology, and a newly developed technique for detecting circulating pancreatic cancer cells in the bloodstream.
We are characterizing the genetic mutations (K-ras, P-53, etc.) and molecular factors (i.e. telomerase expression) in a library of pancreatic cystic neoplasms and intraductal papillary-mucinous tumors along the spectrum of their malignancy.