Understanding the role of stromal cells in pancreatic cancer growth

Understanding the role of stromal cells in pancreatic cancer growth

Project details

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal of all cancers, with most patients surviving only six months after their initial diagnosis. There are very few treatment options for these patients, in part, due to the inability of many drugs to penetrate the dense stromal ‘shield’ that surrounds the cancer cells. We aim to understand how stromal cells contribute to the growth and behavior of pancreatic cancer cells. 

In this project we will use a living biobank of ‘patient tumour samples’ that will be co-cultured with patient matched stromal cells. This will be coupled to state-of-the-art imaging platforms, proteomics, and biochemistry techniques to characterise the cross-talk between stromal and cancer cells. 

About our research group

This is a highly collaborative project, taking advantage of the skills developed by a team of scientists with expertise in pancreatic cancer models, clinical pancreatic cancer management, and the development of biologics for clinical use. The student and project will benefit from collaborations with the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.  

The Putoczki laboratory is focused on understanding how soluble molecules called cytokines influence the growth and spread of cancer. 

The Hollande laboratory (University of Melbourne) studies the molecular mechanisms – particularly signalling pathways – that drive tumour progression. 



Dr Tracy Putoczki

Dr Tracy Putoczki in a laboratory
Laboratory Head
Associate Professor
University of Melbourne

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