Personalized Radiooncology of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human tumors and presents a high mortality.  The poor survival can be attributed to a high genetic heterogeneity leading to therapeutic resistance. Therefore, the treatment of pancreatic cancer is still an unsolved health problem.
 
Individualized high-precision radiation concepts in combination with cytotoxic agents, targeted therapies or herbal substances are new therapeutic approaches for pancreatic cancer to improve the overall survival of patients with pancreatic cancer.
 
Small animal imaging and high-precision radiation devices for treatment planning and targeted application of radiation have been developed, which reflect the clinical situation and possibilities in oncology departments as well achieve high-precision radiation comparable to patients’ treatment.
 
Experimental stratification of radiation response of pancreatic cancer within the framework of translational research is investigated using different in vitro approaches as well as innovative high-precision radiation techniques in an orthotopic pancreatic tumor mouse model. 
 
The major aim of the working group is the generation and characterization of innovative treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients to realize a true personalized medicine.

Figure 1 Translational pancreatic research

 

Our research topics:
 
Topic 1:
Screening for radioresistance and characterization of radiation response of different human and murine pancreatic cancer cell lines as well as of PDOs (patient-derived organoids) in vitro
Topic 2:
Radiosensitizing effect by the application of combined treatment with irradiation and herbal substances or pathway inhibitors in vitro
Topic 3:
Optimization of imaging of pancreatic tumor and organs at risk using different imaging modalities (MRI and CT) as well as treatment planning in an orthotopic tumor mouse model in vivo
Topic 4:
Establishment of innovative high-precision irradiation concepts such as stereotactic irradiation, fractionated concepts and “dose painting“ in vivo 
Topic 5:
Evaluation of radiation response by follow-up imaging as well as of the radioresistance using histopathologic analysis 

Figure 2 Workflow of the in vivo experiment