Women's Cancers/PI3K Dream Team - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C PI3K Dream Team:
Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women's Cancers

Grant Term: November 2009−October 2013

The scientists who participated in the SU2C PI3K Dream Team were pioneers who discovered the PI3K pathway—a complex chain of signals that helps regulate cell growth—and validated its role in human cancers. The goal of this Dream Team was to discover approaches that would predict which patients respond positively to PI3K inhibitors, focusing on women’s cancers that have the PI3K mutation.


The PI3K pathway is a complex signaling cascade that, in concert with other signaling networks, regulates cell survival and growth. This pathway is mutated in more cancer patients than any other pathway, making it an attractive target for agents that inhibit these genetic aberrations at the molecular level.

The scientists involved in the SU2C PI3K Dream Team focus on breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, all of which frequently have mutations in a set of genes that regulate the PI3K pathway. Many drugs to inhibit this pathway have been developed and currently are in clinical trials. However, as with other “targeted” therapies, only a fraction of patients who enroll in these trials benefit.

The goal of this Dream Team is to discover approaches that predict which patients will respond positively to PI3K inhibitors. This project aims to allow clinicians to use biomarkers and imaging techniques to predict which patients will benefit from specific PI3K pathway inhibitors, leading to the development of therapeutic combinations that will hit multiple targets in the complex pathways that contribute to cancer cell growth.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C PI3K Dream Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C PI3K Dream Team.

Dream Team Members

Lewis C. Cantley, PhD
Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Carlos L. Arteaga, MD
Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University
Principal Investigator

José Baselga, MD
MGH Cancer Center and Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator

Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD
Institute for Cancer Genetics and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University
Principal Investigator

Thomas M. Roberts, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator

David B. Solit, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

Judi Hirshfield-Bartek

Piru Cantarell

Ruth G. Fax

Elizabeth S. Frank

Patricia Lee

Don Listwin

Jane Perlmutter

Janet Price

Sarah W. Weiss

“I’m fully convinced that cancer is a logical disease. That there is a logic to how the cancer develops, and if you understand the logic you can understand how to tackle it. So know your enemy. Cancer is our enemy.”

Lewis C. Cantley, PhD
Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click below to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C PI3K Dream Team.



Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.




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