A study of matching new treatments to the individual make up of pancreatic cancer (Precision-Panc)

Cancer type:

Pancreatic cancer





This study is looking at tissue samples in detail to try to match people to treatment for pancreatic cancer. It is part of a larger research programme looking at new treatments for pancreatic cancer. 

Cancer Research UK supports this study.

More about this trial

Precision Panc is looking at tissue samples (biopsies) to find out more about the individual make up of cancer of the pancreas. This is called molecular or genetic profiling. The researchers hope this will help doctors decide the best treatment for everyone based on the genetic make up of their cancer. This is called personalised medicine.
The researchers also want to learn more about when, how and why people develop pancreatic cancer. And to predict who is more at risk of developing it.
This is a large research programme looking at pancreatic cancer. The researchers are doing their research in 2 stages. The Precision Panc study is stage 1. Based on the analysis of the tissue samples, you might be suitable to join a study to have treatment in stage 2.
In stage 2, the researchers will look at new treatments for pancreatic cancer. These studies are:
  • PRIMUS-001 for people with pancreatic cancer that has spread
  • PRMUS-002 for people with pancreatic cancer that can be removed with surgery (please note, PRIMUS-002 is now closed)
  • PRIMUS-003 for people having their 2nd treatment for pancreatic cancer that has spread elsewhere in the body (please note, PRIMUS-003 is now closed)
  • PRIMUS-005 (STARPAC-2) for people whose cancer has grown just outside the pancreas and it isn’t possible to have surgery to remove it (please note, PRIMUS-005 is currently on hold)
The main aim of Precision Panc is to use the tissue samples to look at the individual make up of the cancer and match this to the right treatment.
Please note – taking part in this study might not help you. This is because the researchers cannot be sure they will find changes in your cancer cells that will show a specific treatment will work better than any other. But taking part might help people with pancreatic cancer in the future.

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.
Who can take part
You may be able to join this study if 1 of the following applies. 
  • have the most common type of pancreatic cancer called ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas
  • have a mass that your doctor suspects is cancer of the pancreas which may or may not have spread elsewhere in the body 
As well as the above, the following must also apply.
  • are willing to give tissue samples (biopsies)
  • are considered to be suitable to join an open PRIMUS study
  • are suitable to have treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • are at least 16 years old

Trial design

The study team hope that between 2,500 and 5,000 people will join Precision Panc.
The study is in 2 parts.
Part 1 (screening)
In part 1, the researchers will ask you to give tissue samples. You have a biopsy as part of your routine diagnosis.
A specialist doctor called a pathologist will examine the samples if you have suspected pancreatic cancer. They will confirm if you do or don’t have cancer. The results are usually available between 2 and 4 weeks after taking the samples. Your doctor will talk to you about your test results.
It is routine for the doctor to take 2 to 3 tissue samples when doing a biopsy. But if you join this study they will take up to 5. They will also ask you to give some blood samples. Where possible you give these at the same time as your routine blood samples.
Please note, you might not need to give another tissue sample if you have already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and there is a tissue sample available. The local pathologist will check if it's suitable and send it to the trial team for further tests.
Part 2 (looking at the genetic make up of the cancer)
Part 2 is for people whose tissue samples show they have pancreatic cancer. In part 2, the pathologist will study the samples in much more detail. They will use the latest technology to look at:
You don’t have to agree for the researchers to look for inherited genes if you don’t want to. You can still take part in the study.
The researchers might use the samples for future research.
The study team will ask you to fill in a short questionnaire about your medical history and your family’s. This should take around 30 minutes to complete.
The multi disciplinary team (MDT) made up of cancer doctors, surgeons and researchers will review the results of the tissue sample tests. They hope this information might help them decide which of the studies you might be suitable for. For example, the Primus 001 study or Primus 002.
But there is a chance there won’t be a suitable treatment. As new treatments become available in the future, they hope to be able to match you to one of these.

Hospital visits

You shouldn’t have any extra hospital visits if you join this study.

Side effects

You have the research samples taken at the same time as your routine diagnostic biopsy. So, there shouldn’t be any extra risks because of joining this study.


Milton Keynes

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 Andrew Biankin
Dr David Chang 

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde


If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Last reviewed:

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