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Over £1 million invested in research into treatments

Support Team

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Pancreatic Cancer UK announced at the beginning of pancreatic awareness month that we will fund over £1 million of ground breaking research into treatments for the disease, which could mean a longer life for thousands of people. We hope to be able to transform the prognosis of pancreatic cancer through our largest research investment to date, which will see teams of researchers working on 13 different projects with the aim of generating new and improved treatments for a cancer which currently has very few treatment options.

The research will look into an exciting new treatment which destroys pancreatic cancer cells using a flu virus, and new ways to stop the spread and growth of tumours, such as investigating the important role that pancreatic cancer stem cells play in tumour development. Researchers will also be working in the area of immunotherapy, in which the power of the body’s own immune system is used to fight cancer cells.

Researchers funded by the charity will also investigate how to make existing treatments such as chemotherapy more effective, by identifying which patients are most likely to benefit from each treatment. This includes research looking at the make up of different types of pancreatic cancer tumour, and determining which treatment will be most effective for each one.

We are not only funding innovative research in a lab setting, we have also launched a new Clinical Pioneer Awards Scheme, which provides funding for research in a clinical setting by surgeons, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. This research looks into existing and emerging treatments, with the aim of improving care for current patients with pancreatic cancer, and those diagnosed in the future.

One such project will look into the innovative NanoKnife® treatment, in which high voltage currents are passed down needles inserted into and around a pancreatic cancer tumour in order to damage and destroy cancer cells. This treatment has not yet been approved for routine use on the NHS, and is only accessible for free to very few patients at a few hospitals in the UK. Pancreatic Cancer UK hopes to change that by funding the collection of more evidence on the safety and effectiveness of the treatment in patients with pancreatic cancer, which if positive could lay the grounds for it to be approved for regular use on the NHS in the future.

The charity’s research will take place at universities and hospitals across the UK over the next five years. For more details on research funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK, visit our map - http://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/research/research-we-fund/research-map/

Best wishes

Sarah Bell

Head of Services

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