Dr Woods’ project extends her previous PCRF-funded pilot study, which showed it’s possible to use artificial intelligence techniques to identify patients at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer simply from information reported by patients to their GPs. This new project will refine the modelling tool using more patients and up-to-date information. She will then estimate how well the tool would work in real life and how much it would cost the NHS to implement it.
In previous PCRF-funded research Professor Wang successfully modified a virus that was shown to be effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells in laboratory tests. But we now know that the cancer has many different ways to evade treatment and become resistant to ‘virotherapy’. Professor Wang is using the latest knowledge to design a new virotherapy that targets pancreatic cancer’s multiple resistance mechanisms at the same time, to both kill the cells and prevent them from returning.
Professor Martin Clynes’ research project will look at molecules within our cells, called microRNAs, that control the production of proteins. He aims to see if they can be manipulated to change how pancreatic cancer cells behave. He will also see whether certain miRNAs are found at sufficient levels in pancreatic cancer patients’ blood to be used to monitor the progress of treatment.
Professor Hodivala-Dilke is looking at how to use a particular gene in the cells that line the blood vessels to help chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer work better, and so prevent the growth of secondary tumours post-surgery.
Professor Itzhaki aims to see if a technology she has developed to eliminate certain proteins in cells can be used to target pancreatic cancer.
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.
Dr Walsh aims to design chemotherapy drugs that will target and kill types of cancer stem cells within pancreatic tumours that are responsible for drug resistance and relapse.
Professor Hallden is researching how to use a flu-like virus to seek out and infect pancreatic cancer cells wherever they are in the body.
Dr Clarkson's research focuses on c-FLIP, a molecule found in pancreatic cancer cells that stops damaged or diseased cells from dying.
Prof Lowery will study tumour samples to find changes in genes and assess whether these changes affect how patients respond to drugs.