State Capitol turned purple for pancreatic cancer awareness

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – South Dakota’s State Capitol turned purple Sunday for the 5th annual Light the Capitol Purple for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness event.

South Dakota State University Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dr. Josh Reineke (rhine-e-key) is conducting pancreatic cancer research. He says his interest came about because a different type medical diagnosis.

After learning about the poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer, Reineke says he put the disease out of his mind for a decade and focused on breast cancer research.

He says while significant advancements have been made in treating different types of cancer, pancreatic cancer remains difficult to control.

Because pancreatic cancer tumors are so unique, Reineke’s research involved growing tumors in the lab in order to test treatment options. Then, working through a network of medical professionals in the state, he was able to get actual tumors for testing.

Reineke believes the model he’s developed is a useful tool in screening new pancreatic cancer therapies and a better predictor of how therapies will perform in a patient. He also hopes the models will allow new therapies to be available for patients sooner.