2021 Early Detection Innovation Grant - Prof Claudine Bonder

Advancing a novel ‘early detection’ biomarker for PDAC.

Prof Claudine Bonder is the Principal Investigator


Advancing a novel ‘early detection’ biomarker for PDAC.


2021 Early Detection Innovation Grant


Centre for Cancer Biology

Principal Investigator

Prof Claudine Bonder

Time required to complete project

1 year

Project Summary

Pancreatic cancer has one of the poorest outcomes of all cancers with less than 10% surviving five years post-diagnosis. Early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the biggest challenges with patients often asymptomatic until diagnosed with incurable late-stage disease. Pancreatic cancer is also very difficult to treat because the cancer-killing cells and drugs are unable to penetrate through the dense tumour microenvironment. Faster detection and earlier intervention would unequivocally improve survival rates worldwide. An Australian based research team has discovered a novel protein to be highly expressed on the surface of pancreatic cancer cells. They have found that this protein promotes the progression of PDAC and that it can be blocked to reduce tumour growth and metastasis. More exciting is that a soluble form of this protein can be detected in a sample of human blood. This collaborative project between Profs. Bonder (Centre for Cancer Biology), Mahoney (Thomas Jefferson University) and Barreto (Flinders Medical Centre) tests an innovative concept that PDAC patients can be identified via a new liquid biopsy biomarker. If successful, results here could pave the way for a simple blood test to identify early-stage disease for earlier intervention in even the most remote parts of Australia.

Dr S.George Barreto, Flinders Medical Centre
Prof My Mahoney, Thomas Jefferson University