Project summary review: Fighting desmoplasia in advanced human pancreatic tissue models

Provide feedback on a project summary looking to develop new ways to screen pancreatic cancer drugs by pre-clinically evaluating these drugs on new models of the human pancreas that has been surgically removed.

The project

Dr Eirini Velliou is applying to the Pancreatic Cancer UK Research Innovation Fund to fund her research. She is looking for feedback on her project which aims to develop new models of the human pancreas to screen new drugs which could lead to better or more efficient therapies to improve the quality of life of patients and/or prolong it.

There are many reasons why pancreatic cancer is resistant to chemotherapy but one of the main reasons is that the cancer cells are found in thick protective tissue. This tissue contains special cells called stroma cells which produce proteins. These proteins form a ‘soup’ around the cancer cells, preventing chemotherapy to reach the cancer site. Some drugs have been developed which can bind to the thick protective tissue which are in some early clinical trials. However, there are many targets for such drugs – trying to test all these drugs would take decades.

Dr Eirini Velliou and her team at University College London, Queen Mary University of London and University of Liverpool aim to develop new ways to screen pancreatic cancer drugs by pre-clinically evaluating these drugs on new models of the human pancreas that has been surgically removed. This could lead to better or more efficient therapies to improve the quality of life of patients and/or prolong it.

Next steps

No scientific background or prior experience is needed to take part in this opportunity.

If you would like to give your feedback on this project, please contact the Research Team (research@pancreaticcancer.org.uk) quoting the involvement reference ‘RIF Velliou’. We will then email you the lay summary and any specific questions Dr Eirini Velliou would like you to consider. Please return your responses to the research team by Sunday 26th November 2023.