2022 AMI Online Salon

Drug targets in the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer

Project Details

  • Entrant Name: Nicholas Reback
  • Client: Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Copyright: American Medical Association, 2021
  • Medium/software used: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator
  • Final presentation format: Printed Journal Article
  • Primary Audience: Oncologists, clinicians, and research scientists

Project Description

Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease which the incidence of in the US population is increasing. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, diabetes, and age over 45y. It occurs across all demographics, but is slightly more common in men and African Americans. Early detection is difficult as symptoms are often nonspecific and do not present until the disease is at a locally advanced or metastatic stage. Progress in the treatment of pancreatic cancer has been slow: present day survival rate is only 10%, up from 5.26% in 2000. The primary purpose of this illustration is to create a comprehensive visual record of the unique characteristics of the tumor microenvironment (TME) of pancreatic cancer and to document available therapies and their targets. The secondary purpose is to provide a visual reference for oncologists prescribing treatment and researchers seeking to identify previously unrecognized targets for new drugs. The illustration is innovative for how it clearly organizes the complex characteristics of the TME using value, color, texture, depth and relative position. A circular composition was created around a cluster of active cancer cells allowing the eye to move easily between each unique feature. Clarity is further established by grouping similar elements such as characteristics of the desmoplasia, response of adaptive immune cells, and drugs and their targets. The contrast ratio of the text was calibrated to improve legibility for the visually impaired.