Developing Personalized Cancer Therapy and an Early Detection Scan – Insights from Curing the Incurable
We declared war on cancer in 1971, yet in the past 40 years, fatality rates from pancreatic cancer have remained unchanged. It is the diagnosis that is practicality a death sentence with a 5% survival rate. Recently, many have recognized that a different type of research needed to emerge. Enter UVA’s Dr. Todd Bauer, a surgeon with a research lab, who is studying the disease using unique mouse models that accurately reflect human disease. Dr. Bauer’s lab is implanting each patient’s tumor into mice to unlock the secrets for a personalized cure. UVA Bioengineer Kim Kelly has discovered a revolutionary bio-marker for pancreatic cancer and has collaborated with Dr. Bauer to develop the first molecular early detection scan, which could transform the survival from this disease by catching it earlier.
Dr. Bauer is an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty in the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine at UVA in 2005.
Dr. Bauer divides his time between his surgical care of cancer patients and his laboratory research program in pancreatic cancer. His main clinical focus is in pancreatic, liver and biliary cancers. He is the Leader of the UVA Cancer Center Hepato-pancreato-biliary Center of Excellence and the Director of the UVA Gastrointestinal Tumor Board. He has conceived of and has championed the development of the UVA High Risk Pancreatic Cancer Clinic and serves as its Medical Director. He is the Leader of the UVA Pancreatic Cancer Research Program. He established and maintains the UVA Human Pancreatic Cancer Tissue Bank and his laboratory has developed sophisticated mouse models of pancreatic cancer which are being used with patient-derived tumors to develop new treatments for patients. This work has led to the development of novel clinical trials for patients with pancreatic cancer. In collaboration with Kimberly Kelly, PhD in Biomedical Engineering he is developing the first early detection scan for pancreatic cancer which is in a Phase 0 clinical trial at UVA.
Dr. Bauer received the UVA Dean’s Award for Clinical Excellence in 2012 and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Educators. He has published 167 scientific and clinical abstracts, chapters and manuscripts and since 2005 has been awarded 31 research grants to support his research in pancreatic cancer.