Aatur Singhi, PhD, MD
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Dr. Singhi is a surgical pathologist with sub-specialty training in gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatobiliary pathology. His diagnostic expertise includes both neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases of the gastrointestinal system, liver, biliary tract, pancreas and peritoneum.
His current research focus is primarily translational in the area of gastrointestinal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary and peritoneal pathology
RESEARCH FUNDED BY SKY FOUNDATION, INC.
PROJECT TITLE: DNA BASED TESTING OF PANCREATIC CYST FLUID
Aatur Singhi, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pancreatic cysts are present in 1%-3% of Americans and its occurrence increases with age. While the majority of these cysts are benign, a small subset may progress to pancreatic cancer
Identifying potentially malignant pancreatic cysts early and removing them before the cancer has progressed is the focus of a clinically available pancreatic cyst assay called PancreaSeq, developed in Dr. Singhi’s laboratory
With a small sample of aspirated pancreatic cyst fluid, PancreaSeq can detect deleterious mutations that can be an early indicator of pancreas cancer
Through Sky Foundation funding, PancreaSeq is currently used by several institutions throughout the U.S. to evaluate patients with pancreatic cysts
Pancreatic cancer is a genetic disease caused by changes or mutations to genes that control the way our cells function. Many of these mutations can be targeted with existing drugs, but our understanding the full range of genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer is unknown
Sky Foundation funding led to the publication of the largest compendium of genetically profiled pancreatic cancers that consisted of 3500+ patients throughout the world
Genetic profiling identified 17% of patients with pancreatic cancer have mutations in genes that can be targeted with currently available treatment options
Current research is now being extended to evaluate hundreds of patients with the second most prevalent pancreatic cancer, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, in order to develop early detection assays and define potential treatment options