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Stromal heterogeneity and treatment-induced changes

Approximately 30%-40% of all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have locally advanced disease, which means that the tumour has not developed distant metastases, but is locally too extensive to be resected surgically.

About the project

Palliative treatment is considered the only treatment option, and patient survival is significantly shorter than for patients with resectable disease. NorPACT-2 is a new clinical study that aims at improving the outcome of this patient group by treating with chemotherapy in order to reduce the extent of the tumour, such that it becomes surgically resectable. 

The project aims at characterizing the stroma that is associated with treatment-resistant cancer cells, and comparing it with stroma that is found in tumours with (sub-)total regression.

The features that are investigated are based on findings from our in vitro work on (treatment-naïve) tumour stroma and cancer-stroma interactions (cfr. Project 1) as well as on reports in the literature: extent and cellularity of stroma, fibre alignment, presence of particular extracellular matrix components (eg. collagens, fibronectin, hyaluronic acid), integrins and other tumour- and stroma-related proteins.  

Investigations will be undertaken on tissues from surgically resected tumours from patients that are enrolled in the NorPACT-2 study

This project is part of a tripartite research programme that includes the clinical study NorPACT-2 (In Norwegian).


  • Knut Jørgen Labori, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
  • Elin Kure, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
  • Matthias Löhr, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden


  • South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (HSØ), project nr. 40046

Study period

  • 2019 - ongoing



Published Apr. 4, 2019 12:48 PM - Last modified May 8, 2019 9:46 AM