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Radio 4’s Inside Health visits PCRF’s Tissue Bank

13 July 2017

Dr Mark Porter, presenter of Radio 4’s flagship medical series, Inside Health, visited the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Tissue Bank last week, to find out how the world’s first national pancreas tissue bank will help progress research into the disease.

Dr Porter met with staff and researchers and was given a tour of the Tissue Bank facility, which is based at Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London.  He also discussed the importance of the facility in driving forward research with Professor Hemant Kocher, who heads up the facility and who, together with PCRF CEO Maggie Blanks, has driven the development of the Tissue Bank.   

The programme also featured an interview with patient Cathy Cobley, one of the very first patents to donate her tumour tissue to the Tissue Bank.  Cathy’s pancreatic cancer was diagnosed early enough for Professor Kocher to operate on her to remove her tumour and she was asked if she would consent to her tumour tissue being used for research. Cathy said: “I didn’t hesitate. If I could help anybody else then I was going to, even if it couldn’t help me. They put the tumour in the tissue bank – I didn’t want it, so they could have it!”

The episode was broadcast on Tuesday 11 July and repeated on Weds 12 July. You can hear the programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08x9ckx

Dr Porter has been a keen supporter of awareness of pancreatic cancer and has described on several occasions how his own family has been affected by the disease.  In addition to his work on Radio 4, he is also medical correspondent at The Times, doctor on The One Show and still works as a partner in a busy surgery in South Gloucestershire. In 2005, Dr Porter was awarded an MBE for services to medicine.

Dr Mark Porter

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