The Nevler Lab researches the progression and potential vulnerabilities of pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancers. We are a translational research lab, focused primarily on targeting cancer metabolism and surgical innovation.
Our lab focuses in understanding how metabolic mechanisms such as energy production and cellular respiration, effect cancer progression and resistance to therapy. More specifically, we are investigating the effects of hypercapnia and obstructive respiratory diseases on pancreatic cancer progression and chemotherapy resistance. We are also actively assessing novel mitochondrial inhibitors in animal models and as a part of a unique clinical study. In addition to our investigations in cancer biology, we also lead surgical innovation projects, developing novel devices and assessing new technologies.
Effects of Hypercapnia on pancreatic cancer progression and therapy resistance (HIPR Project).
We have recently identified hypercapnia (elevated CO2 levels) as novel driver of pancreatic cancer proliferation and resistance to therapy. Hypercapnia results in a pronounced increase in pancreatic cancer replication rate, increased resistance to platinum-type chemotherapy and reduced response to radiotherapy. Moreover, we have shown that pancreatic cancer patients with respiratory disorders that are characterized by hypercapnia such as emphysema and asthma have markedly worse survival and earlier disease recurrence.
Mitochondrial inhibitors for targeting pancreatic cancer metabolism.
This project builds on our recently published study showing the significant anti-cancer effects of the mitochondrial inhibitor Pyrvinium Pamoate (PP). We have identified a similar class of mitochondrial inhibitors, which show great promise in multiple GI cancers. We are currently assessing their effects and exact mechanism of action alone and in combination with other chemotherapies.
We are currently working on innovative IRE (irreversible electroporation) devices and on novel assistive technologies in minimally invasive surgery (MIS). As part of this work we interact frequently with the innovation pillar and the office of Technology Licensing & Startups. Students and researchers also gain experience with key concepts in innovation, intellectual property and medical device regulations.