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PanCuRx Translational Research Initiative

The goal of the PanCuRx TRI is to seek solutions to the high fatality rate of pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common type of pancreatic cancer, by generating new knowledge about the genetics and biology of the disease, mechanisms of how tumours grow and tailored treatment options. PDAC is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in Canada and is expected to become the second-leading cause of cancer death within the next decade. The current five-year survival rate of eight per cent is the lowest of all epithelial cancers. There are major clinical challenges to treating the disease, including the fact that PDAC spreads to other parts of the body early so surgical removal of the tumour benefits few patients, that PDAC has proven relatively resistant to systemic therapies such as chemotherapy and that there has been limited benefit from the use of newer molecular targeted agents. The PanCuRx team has created the world’s first resource of tumour-purified PDAC whole genomes; more than 500 PDAC samples, with combined clinical annotation, have been successfully sequenced and analyzed at the Ontario Institute for Cancer research in Toronto. The resulting clinical genomic resource created from this data has led to multiple new findings that have established a framework to better understand PDAC biology and lays the foundation for new genomic approaches to better understanding the disease. The team also launched a clinical trial called COMPASS (Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Advanced Ductal Pancreas Adenocarcinoma for Better Treatment Selection: A Prospective Study), which is recruiting patients with advanced PDAC (both locally advanced and metastatic) at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM) in Toronto. The study uses the molecular results from individual patient tumours to guide selection of better second line treatment on a case-by-case basis. The primary objective of the initial study was to assess the feasibility of collecting tumour materials from patients with advanced PDAC and delivering results within 56 days of biopsy. Having achieved this objective, the trial has expanded to other cancer centres across Canada. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer and outcomes have not improved in four decades. The PanCuRx initiative is providing a better understanding of the disease and actively applying new knowledge to cancer patients through clinical trials. This knowledge will help to improve quality of life and prolong survival for pancreatic cancer patients worldwide.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001003582 Illumina HiSeq 2500 50
EGAD00001003584 -
EGAD00001003585 -
EGAD00001004548 Illumina HiSeq 2500 75
EGAD00001004551 -
EGAD00001005799 Illumina HiSeq 2500 unspecified 34
EGAD00001006081 Illumina HiSeq 2500 unspecified 101
EGAD00001006152 -
EGAD00001006261 Illumina HiSeq 2500 unspecified 4
EGAD00001006262 -
EGAD00001007571 -
EGAD00001008155 Illumina HiSeq 2500 unspecified 29
EGAD00001009409 -
EGAD00001011129 1
EGAD00010001811 15
Publications Citations
Genomics-Driven Precision Medicine for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: Early Results from the COMPASS Trial.
Clin Cancer Res 24: 2018 1344-1354
Integration of Genomic and Transcriptional Features in Pancreatic Cancer Reveals Increased Cell Cycle Progression in Metastases.
Cancer Cell 35: 2019 267-282.e7
De novo compartment deconvolution and weight estimation of tumor samples using DECODER.
Nat Commun 10: 2019 4729
Purity Independent Subtyping of Tumors (PurIST), A Clinically Robust, Single-sample Classifier for Tumor Subtyping in Pancreatic Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res 26: 2020 82-92
Accurate and efficient detection of gene fusions from RNA sequencing data.
Genome Res 31: 2021 448-460
NOX4 links metabolic regulation in pancreatic cancer to endoplasmic reticulum redox vulnerability and dependence on PRDX4.
Sci Adv 7: 2021 eabf7114
NOXA expression drives synthetic lethality to RUNX1 inhibition in pancreatic cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 119: 2022 e2105691119
Ordered and deterministic cancer genome evolution after p53 loss.
Nature 608: 2022 795-802
Integrative analysis of KRAS wildtype metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma reveals mutation and expression-based similarities to cholangiocarcinoma.
Nat Commun 13: 2022 5941
XDec-CHI reveals immunosuppressive interactions in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
iScience 25: 2022 105249
Spatial transcriptomics technology in cancer research.
Front Oncol 12: 2022 1019111
MACHETE identifies interferon-encompassing chromosome 9p21.3 deletions as mediators of immune evasion and metastasis.
Nat Cancer 3: 2022 1367-1385
Metastatic phenotype and immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: Key role of the urokinase plasminogen activator (PLAU).
Front Immunol 13: 2022 1060957
RBFOX2 modulates a metastatic signature of alternative splicing in pancreatic cancer.
Nature 617: 2023 147-153