Review a project summary: Using mathematics to find potent yet safe drug combinations for pancreatic cancer

Provide feedback on a project summary looking to use mathematics to predict pancreatic cancer cell growth so that they can be used as a tool to develop more effective yet kinder drug combinations.

The project

Mathematics is a powerful tool that can make predictions on many contexts, e.g. stock market, weather forecast, etc. However, its speed and precision have not been fully exploited in cancer research. All anticancer drugs affect cancer cell growth.

In this project, Dr Siang Boon Koh, Dr Aaron Lim and Professor Philip Maini propose to use mathematics to simulate pancreatic cancer cell growth. This step will help them better understand how cancer cells grow when they are treated with drugs. In turn, this understanding will enable them to make better predictions on the effect of anticancer drugs. They will then be able to use the mathematical models to rapidly identify potentially potent yet safe drug combinations against pancreatic cancer. They will experimentally test these combinations in the laboratory to validate their findings which, once validated, would be the first proof-of-concept that this approach can accelerate the drug development process in the field, paving the way to new treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients.

Dr Siang Boon Koh and Dr Aaron Lim at the University of Bristol and Professor Philip Maini at the University of Oxford are applying for a Pancreatic Cancer UK Interdisciplinary Treatment Grant to fund their research. They are looking for feedback on their project summary which aims to use mathematics to predict pancreatic cancer cell growth so that they can use them as a tool to develop more effective yet kinder drug combinations.

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 ‘ITG Koh’. We will then email you the lay summary and any specific questions Dr Siang Boon Koh, Dr Aaron Lim and Professor Philip Maini would like you to consider. Please return your responses to the research team by Monday 13th May 2024.