UC researchers developing antibody that could fight pancreatic cancer

CINCINNATI -- Researchers at the University of Cincinnati might have discovered a way to inhibit the growth of a deadly disease: pancreatic cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is the fourth-deadliest cancer on the planet. Because it is often detected in late stages of development, people with pancreatic cancer have just a 5 percent chance of surviving for five years after their initial diagnosis, and it claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

But there's hope for successful treatment, and it lives right here in Cincinnati. Vladimir Bogdanov, a researcher with the UC College of Medicine, received a $300,000 grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Tuesday. That money will enable him to continue his research into developing an antibody that reduces the growth of pancreatic tumor cells.

"We are very happy this money is coming to Cincinnati because this is going to put us further on the map in terms of national centers studying pancreas cancers and trying to improve outcomes," Bogdanov said.

According to Bogdanov, tumor cells often hijack vascular networks to fuel their own growth. His antibody, known as RabMab1, targets a protein that promotes the growth of those networks. 

The grant money will go toward further refinement of RabMab1 and clinical trials involving animals. 

"We're thankful for this funding, which will hopefully help us come up with new and more effective treatments for this devastating disease," Bogdanov said.

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