A study looking at PET-CT scans to diagnose cancer of the pancreas (PET PANC)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Pancreatic cancer





This study is to see if a type of body scan called a PET-CT scan will improve the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

If your doctor thinks you may have cancer of the pancreas, you will have a number of tests and scans. It is important that these are as accurate as possible. This is because the results will affect what treatment you have, and possibly the outcomes of that treatment.

Doctors already use PET-CT scans across the health service, but we are not yet sure how useful they will be in helping to diagnose pancreatic cancer.

People in this study will have a PET-CT scan as well as the other routine tests for pancreatic cancer. The study team will then see how useful the PET-CT scan was in reaching a diagnosis.

The main aim of this study is to work out how accurate and useful PET-CT scans would be when used with standard tests for pancreatic cancer.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if

  • Your doctor thinks you might have pancreatic cancer
  • You are able to come to hospital for a PET-CT scan
  • You are able to have a type of CT scan called a multi detector CT scan – you can check this with your doctor
  • You are able to come to 3 monthly study appointments for a year after the scan
  • You are at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this study if you

  • Have diabetes Open a glossary item that is poorly controlled (you have unstable blood sugar Open a glossary item levels)
  • Are pregnant

Trial design

This study will recruit up to 600 people.

Everyone will have a PET-CT scan for the study. On the day of your scan, you should not have anything to eat or drink for several hours before the scan. If you have diabetes Open a glossary item, the study team will give you special instructions.

Before your scan, you have a very small amount of a radioactive tracer drug as an injection into a vein. The injection helps to show up structures in your body more clearly on the scan. You rest for 90 minutes after the injection, then have your PET-CT scan, which takes between 30 to 50 minutes.

The study team will add your PET-CT scan results to the information from your other routine cancer tests. You then see your doctor a week or 2 later to discuss the results of the scan and any diagnosis the doctor has been able to make. If you have cancer, you then start your treatment plan, which is not part of the study.

Hospital visits

Before you join the study you will see the doctor, and have some routine tests, which include

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Urine test
  • Any other tests or scans your doctor thinks you may need

You fill out a questionnaire at the start of the study, and every 3 months for the next year. The questionnaire will ask about any side effects you have had, and how you have been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.

About 2 weeks after your tests, you have your study PET-CT scan.

You will come to hospital between 1 and 2 weeks later to see the doctor and discuss your results and diagnosis.

You then come to hospital every 3 months for a year, in the same way as you would if you were not in the study. The study team will find out how you are getting on at these appointments. During these visits, you have a routine blood test, and complete a quality of life questionnaire.

Side effects

You may have an allergic reaction to the injection for the scan, but this is very rare. The scan staff will be able to treat you if this happens. You may also have some redness where you have this injection, but this should go away by the end of your scan.

You will be exposed to a little extra radiation by having the study PET-CT scan. We are all exposed to a very small amount of radiation during the course of a normal day (background radiation). The amount of radiation you would have from the extra CT scan is about the same as several years of background radiation, and is thought to be low risk.

You can find out more about PET-CT scans on CancerHelp UK.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Paula Ghaneh

Supported by

NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust
University of Liverpool

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 7618

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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