Research Involvement Network opportunity: Finding biomarkers in the blood that can predict if pancreatic lesions will become cancerous

Dr Katie Lloyd and a team at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust would like members of the Research Involvement Network to help them in the development of their project. They would like your feedback on the lay summary of their work as well as their plan for Patient and Public involvement so that they can refine their project before applying for funding.

The Project

The presence of very small, ‘finger-like’ growths on the pancreas, known as Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasms (PanINs), alongside major changes to pancreatic cells, is highly likely to lead to cancer. The accuracy of detecting the nature of the abnormal growths with scanning techniques that produce images of the pancreas remains low. However, biological information from patients’ blood can also be used to measure the presence and severity of disease. This is known as biomarking.  The main objective of the study is to establish the best combination of blood biomarkers for the detection and follow up of these pancreatic changes and compare their ability to detect cancer better within current practices in specialist centres.

How it will benefit people affected by pancreatic cancer? 

The study aims to provide an alternative way to measure for the detection of pancreatic changes that may lead to cancer and therefore, avoid further diagnostic procedures such as camera tests, taking tissue samples and further scans. The study could also help doctors to determine which patients require surgery and which type of surgery would be most beneficial for their treatment; which will reduce the burden of unnecessary procedures. Most importantly, the outcomes of this study, if it proves to be successful, will be applied for screening populations with high-risk characteristics for developing pancreatic cancer (such as patients with newly developed blood sugar problems called diabetes Mellitus or inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis) which currently remain undiagnosed and ultimately present with cancer in an advanced stage.

The Opportunity  

The team would be really grateful if members from the Research Involvement Network would read, and provide feedback on, their lay summary and Patient and Public Involvement plan. Feedback would be in the form of  written comments and should be sent in by 13th June 2022.

Who is the opportunity aimed at? 

This is open to any individual who has been  affected by pancreatic cancer.

Next Steps

If you would like to take part, please email the research team (