Early Diagnosis Research Alliance
A new approach to early detection which brings together the brightest research minds with the aim of making earlier detection of pancreatic cancer a reality.
Early detection saves lives. However, previous investments in early detection research have been too small, infrequent and isolated, meaning that the best efforts of researchers have yet to succeed. To solve this problem, we’re taking a different approach.
The Pancreatic Cancer UK Early Diagnosis Research Alliance is one of the biggest investments into improving early detection of pancreatic cancer in the UK. By sharing information and knowledge and coordinating efforts, some of the UK’s leading researchers are working together to develop and implement a simple test that doctors can use to detect pancreatic cancer earlier and save lives.
What have we learnt so far?
Over the first five years, work from the Early Diagnosis Research Alliance has laid the vital groundwork for the development of new tools and tests that will help GPs to identify patients with vague symptoms who are most likely to have pancreatic cancer, so that they can be urgently referred for further tests. Researchers have used clues found in the blood to develop the very first blood test to detect pancreatic cancer in the blood. Preliminary results show that the test is more than 95% accuracy in early trials, and it is now undergoing further development and evaluation in the USA. Our researchers are also building on these findings to develop a breath test for pancreatic cancer.
These exciting developments are taking us one step closer to improving early detection of pancreatic cancer and ultimately, saving more lives.
Meet the team
Leading the large team of researchers that form the Alliance is Professor Steve Pereira, University College London, who has over 20 years of experience in working in pancreatic cancer. His previous research into early detection and biomarker testing has served as vital groundwork for this project, increasing biomarker test sensitivity, and highlighting the challenges in delivering diagnosis in the UK healthcare system.
The four priority areas
In order to achieve their goal, the Alliance will look to accelerate early detection of the most common forms of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNET) by focussing on four key areas.