With the help of an $18 million grant, one Penn researcher will lead the way in the development of new treatments for pancreatic cancer. Over the next three years, Craig Thompson, director of the Penn Abramson Cancer Center, will work closely with researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, a Phoenix research center and patient advocates. The grant was provided by Stand Up to Cancer, a group of women who have been affected by cancer, and its partnership with a television fundraiser sponsored by ABC, NBC and CBS on Labor Day last year. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the effort is unique not only because it will bring together five "dream teams" for major research collaborations but also because it will include patient input early in the research process. The team's approaches will also promote "a strong emphasis on innovation," Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher and professor Phillip Sharp told the Inquirer. Thompson and his colleagues plan on finding new ways to prevent the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors by starving the tumors of their blood supply. After running tests using Penn's new imaging techniques that will help determine the cancerous cells' energy sources, the researchers hope to begin their clinical trials in a few months. The grants awarded to Thompson and his team will be overseen by the American Association of Cancer Research. In addition to these grants, Stand Up to Cancer also plans on announcing 12 three-year grants of $750,000 to revolutionary researchers chosen from a pool of 425 applicants. -Sarah Ryu
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