Current pancreatic cancer research
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Saving lives through our research
We have pledged to tackle pancreatic cancer as one of four ‘hard to treat’ cancers outlined in our 2014 strategy. This means we have increased our funding for research in this area, and we are looking at ways to boost the number of researchers who are working in the field. Below are some examples of what our researchers are doing right now.
Our current researchers
Understanding cancer communications
In Manchester, Dr Claus Jorgensen is studying how pancreatic cancer cells ‘talk’ to the cells around them and to the body’s immune system. His work looks at how genetic faults in pancreatic tumours cause changes in how these cells talk. Understanding and interfering with this communication could lead to new treatments.
Creating a trial 'menu'
Professor Andrew Biankin in Glasgow is leading PRECISION-Panc. This ambitious study is uncovering the biological characteristics of patients’ pancreatic tumours to learn more about the biology of the disease. The aim is to use this information to match pancreatic cancer patients to the best clinical trial for them.
Leading a cancer Dream Team
Professor Gerard Evan in Cambridge is leading an international Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team, co-funded by Cancer Research UK, Stand Up To Cancer and the US Lustgarten Foundation. The Dream Team aims to map ‘super-enhancer hotspots’, control centres in our genes that pancreatic tumours may use to hijack normal wound healing processes. Their discoveries will feed directly into trials of new treatments, some of which are already available for testing in clinical trials.
Interrupting cancer's conversations
Professor Martin Humphries in Manchester is studying how pancreatic cancer cells ‘talk’ to their surroundings and to their neighbouring healthy cells. He wants to understand how pancreatic cancer cells use these conversations to help them grow and escape treatment. By doing this, he hopes to find ways to interrupt these conversations that will lead to new, better treatments.
Studying role of the immune system
Professor Paul Moss in Birmingham is studying the role our body’s immune system plays in pancreatic cancer. He is interested in how pancreatic cancer cells find ways to stop our immune cells from finding and destroying them. He also wants to know the impact this has on how well new treatments like immunotherapy work.