Desmoplastic Stroma - Lustgarten Foundation: Pancreatic Cancer Research

Desmoplastic Stroma


To identify and distrust cells and pathways that drive the desmoplastic stroma.


The desmoplastic stroma of pancreatic cancer is comprised of a dense extracellular matrix and abundant fibroblasts and inflammatory cells. The desmoplastic stroma promotes cancer progression and causes immune and drug resistance.  Recent studies have shown that the stroma is more dynamic than previously thought and may be altered by interventions having potential therapeutic consequence.


Develop a focused research strategy whereby the Foundation will work with leading researchers and support their dedicated efforts to identify the components of the stroma of pancreatic cancer that are causal in creating pancreatic cancer and causing immune and drug resistance.

Targeted Research Areas include, but are not restricted to:

  • Determine the features of the pancreatic cancer stroma that prevent optimal immune response to pancreatic cancer cells.
  • Identify the properties of the extracellular matrix that promote pancreatic cancer progression and drug resistance.
  • Characterize the features of fibroblasts that contribute to pancreatic cancer progression and immune/drug resistance.
  • Conduct preclinical proof-of-concept studies that may serve as a step towards clinical translation.

Key Dates

Letter of Intent Due: June 30, 2020 LOI Notification: July 31, 2020 Full Proposal Due: October 1, 2020 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: January 1, 2021 Questions regarding this Request for Proposals should be directed to: Andrew Rakeman, Ph.D. VP, Research [email protected] Apply for Funding

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