An Analysis of Pancreatic Tumor Microbiomes—Florencia McAllister, MD—Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, MD Anderson Center at the University of Texas


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Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressively malignant cancers that exist; despite all the knowledge we have about the mechanisms at play in pancreatic cancer and many attempts at finding a treatment that works, the survival rate is only nine percent in five years after diagnosis. In the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention at the University of Texas, Dr. Florencia McAllister’s goal is to change this by developing better preventative and therapeutic strategies for pancreatic cancer. She is focused on understanding the interaction between the immune system and very early-stage cancer. How is it that cancer can emerge in the body yet remain undetected by the immune system? And if we can answer this question, can we also figure out how to change it? Part of this research involves a look at the microbiome of pancreatic tumors and a comparison to the microbiome of the gut. What, if any, are the associations between the gut and tumor microbiomes, and between the bacteria in tumors and the immune response? Answering these questions is the crux of Dr. McAllister’s work, and she joins the podcast today to discuss all the details. By tuning in, you will learn:

  • What Dr. McAllister and her team has learned by comparing the tumor microbiomes of long-term versus short-term survivors of pancreatic cancer
  • How the microbiome of pancreatic tumors differs from the microbiome of the rest of the pancreas
  • What causes someone to be at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer

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