Join a focus group: MicroPanc: working out how humans and their gut bacteria interact in pancreatic cancer

Join a focus group to discuss a study which aims to use tissue removed during Whipple procedures to study the biological processes affected by pancreatic cancer in various organs.

The project

Pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose, difficult to treat and has poor survival rates. Only 15-20 of every 100 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer can be operated on. These patients undergo an operation called the Whipple procedure, where part of the pancreas, the duodenum, gall bladder and part of the stomach are removed. Bacteria found in pancreatic tumours influences disease progression, but it is not known where it comes from.

Professor Lesley Hoyles and her team at Nottingham Trent University want to identify biological markers (biomarkers) that can be used in the future to improve detection of pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage to improve patient outcomes. They plan on doing this by investigating the tissues that are removed in the Whipple procedure to study the different biological processes affected by pancreatic cancer in the pancreas, duodenum, and gall bladder. They aim to characterise the bacteria found in the duodenum to see if it matches with the bacteria found in the pancreas and surrounding tissues. Lesley and her team also plan on measuring chemicals produced by bacteria in the small bowel to see how closely their levels are related to disease status, abundance of different duodenal bacteria and human biological processes.

Lesley is inviting individuals to join her for a focus group to ask for your insights on this project. She is looking to hold the focus group on:

Friday 17th November from 5:30 – 7:30 pm


Tuesday 21st November 2023 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Next steps

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

Focus groups consist of small groups of RIN members along with the researcher and a member of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Research Team. They are opportunities to find out more about a project, ask questions of the researcher and for the researcher to hear what you think about their project based on your personal experiences.

If you are interested in attending this focus group, please contact the Research Team ( with your details and the date(s) you are available, quoting the involvement reference ‘MicroPanc Hoyles’ by Tuesday 14th November 2023.