Photograph of a Mayo Clinic researcher working with test tubes in a lab. Advancing pancreatic cancer research

Mayo Clinic investigators are tackling the urgent need for improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Overview

The Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer SPORE is specifically committed to reducing the incidence and mortality of pancreatic cancer.

The SPORE promotes research focused on understanding the causes of pancreatic cancer and the pathways by which pancreatic cancer progresses. The SPORE also develops interventions to treat pancreatic cancer.

The Pancreatic Cancer SPORE is part of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, a formal research program within Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

The statistics about pancreatic cancer are sobering and underscore the need for urgent research advances. Patients with cancers of the pancreas generally have a poor prognosis, with a five-year survival rate of about only 9%. About 60,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the U.S., and accounts for about 47,000 deaths each year.

The Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer SPORE consists of scientific and translational research projects that focus on cutting-edge approaches to improve the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In addition to these projects, the SPORE also has four cores supporting its research. Broad institutional support throughout Mayo Clinic helps pave the way for the translation of the SPORE's scientific discoveries from the lab to the clinic, helping patients with pancreatic cancer and those at risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

The SPORE also nurtures innovative research and interdisciplinary interactions, which attracts scientists and clinicians dedicated to pancreatic cancer research.

Several innovative translational pilot projects are awarded annually through the SPORE's Developmental Research Program, with matching funds from Mayo Clinic. The SPORE's Career Enhancement Program supports one junior faculty member each year.

A SPORE, or Specialized Program of Research Excellence, is a cornerstone of the National Cancer Institute's efforts to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research.

Principal investigators

The principal investigators for the Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer SPORE are: