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Targeting Sphingosine Kinase Signaling To Increase Chemotherapeutic Efficacy

ID: 2016-054 This invention is a method to slow pancreatic cancer growth and make pancreatic tumors more susceptible to chemotherapy.

ID: 2016-054
Principal Investigator: John Price

Pancreatic cancer is a key challenge in the United States, where the 30,000 patients are diagnosed with the disease each year. The U.S. has the highest number of pancreatic cancer patients in the world. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were 46,420 new pancreatic cancer cases in the US in 2014 alone. It has further estimated that 39,590 deaths occurred in the US as a result of pancreatic cancer, constituting 6.8 percent of the total cancer deaths in the US. Most patients with pancreatic cancer will have a maximum five-year survival time upon diagnosis, and this has created a therapy market with high unmet need.

John Price video

Estimates show that only a small percentage (about 12% to 15%) of patients is diagnosed early enough to be treated with surgical procedures, drugs, and chemotherapy. Given the aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer, treatments often return inadequate results—this makes early and accurate diagnosis key. Technologies for the timely diagnosis of this cancer type are yet to develop fully, which results in a majority of pancreatic cancer patients being diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. Pancreatic cancer begins at stage I, with the subsequent stages being: stage II, stage III, and stage IV.

BYU’s inventor has demonstrated a new Lipidomic activity assay to diagnose pancreatic cancer. Using the same protein he has also demonstrated that cancer growth is arrested giving opportunity for chemotherapy or surgery to destroy the cancer.

For more information, contact Mike Alder (801-422-3049)

Links and Resources

  1. BYU Radio Broadcast - Aired Dec 6, 2016
  2. Inventor Webpage - John Price
  3. Price Research Group Webpage