Join a Focus Group: Using new types of radiotherapy to improve the tumour environment in pancreatic cancer

Join a focus group which aims to understand radiotherapy in pancreatic cancer which could then lead to better treatment strategies.

The project

Pancreatic cancer is often resistant to radiotherapy. Non-cancerous cells within pancreatic tumours, including immune and structural cells (fibroblasts), play a crucial role in treatment response and there is increasing evidence that the way the non-cancerous cells respond can influence the tumour control with radiotherapy. This project aims to investigate the effects of a novel radiotherapy technique called microbeam on these non-cancerous cells.

Dr Magnus Dillon at The Institute of Cancer Research is looking to hold a virtual focus group on either Tuesday 23rd April 2024 or Thursday 25th April 2024 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm to get your suggestions/ideas on his project and discuss if radiotherapy would be a good avenue to explore.

In their project, they will compare microbeam with standard radiotherapy in mouse models and analyse the kinds of cells that are in the tumour, and their gene expression to see how they are responding to standard and microbeam therapy. The team will also examine tissue samples from pancreatic cancer patients who underwent surgery with or without radiotherapy. The goal is to identify potential targets for drug-radiotherapy combinations and assess whether microbeam therapy could be advantageous in patients. Understanding how radiation influences non-cancerous cells could improve treatment strategies and potentially lead to innovative therapies for pancreatic cancer.

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. 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 would like to join this focus group, please contact the Research Team ( quoting the involvement reference ‘Focus Group Dillon’ along with details of the date(s) you will be able to attend the focus group. Please return your responses to the research team by Monday 15th April 2024.