All too often pancreatic cancer is diagnosed when the disease has already spread to other organs. If we can diagnose the disease earlier, patients can start treatment sooner, which will improve their prognosis.
Crucially, finding a way to diagnose pancreatic cancer when it’s still at an early stage is one of our key ambitions because it would enable more people to be eligible for surgery – currently the only potentially curative treatment. Our projects in this category include identifying patient populations at risk of developing pancreatic cancer, finding biomarkers to detect the disease in urine or blood and new imaging techniques both for diagnosis and monitoring the effectiveness of treatments.
UroPanc: validating a test for early-stage pancreatic cancer
PCRF is funding a £1.6m clinical study to validate a urine test that, if successful, would be the first in the world able to detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage. The test works by measuring levels of three specific proteins that were identified as early-stage biomarkers for the disease, in previous research funded by PCRF. The work is led by by Professor Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic of Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London. Find out more.
Other researchers working in this area:
Dr Bart Cornelissen, University of Oxford
Dr Cornelissen is developing powerful imaging techniques to diagnose early stage pancreatic cancer. Find out more.
Dr Laura Woods, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Dr Woods is analysing thousands of GP records to see whether people who later developed pancreatic cancer shared similar early warning signs detectable before diagnosis. Find out more.