2023 New Treatment Grant - Prof John Hooper

Receptor-directed precision medicines for pancreatic cancer.

Prof John Hooper is the lead investigator


Receptor-directed precision medicines for pancreatic cancer.


2023 New Treatment Grant


Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland

Principal Investigator

Prof John Hooper

Time required to complete project

2 years

Project Summary

We propose to combine two new theranostic agents to optimise their use for detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Each agent contains two components: 1) a biological component, called an antibody, that bind strongly and specifically to proteins, called receptors, that are enriched on the surface of pancreatic cancer cells; and 2) a “payload” that is linked to the antibody and either emits energy (and can be used for detection) or is a drug (and can be used for treatment). Injected into a patient’s blood system, the agent circulates until the biological component binds to the receptor thereby selectively delivering its payload to pancreatic cancer cells. We have already published research showing that one of our agents is effective at detecting and treating pancreatic cancers in our experimental models. However, pancreatic cancers are inherently complex consisting of many slightly different cancer cells that have different repertoires of receptors. To deal with this complexity, in this project we aim to simultaneously target two different receptors that are enriched on the surface of pancreatic cancer cells. Through this strategy we aim to develop approaches that will be much more sensitive at detecting pancreatic cancer and much more effective at treating pancreatic cancer.

Dr Cameron Snell, The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Yaowu He, University of Queensland