Project summary review: Integrating computational and experimental approaches to improve treatment strategies for people with pancreatic cancer

Provide feedback on a project summary looking to integrate computational and experimental approaches to improve their understanding of treatment resistance mechanisms and identify more effective strategies to better treat pancreatic cancer.

The project

There is a considerable need to improve treatments for pancreatic cancer, which is commonly diagnosed at an advanced stage, when cancer cells have hijacked normal cells to create a pro-tumour environment that protects them from treatment. A better understanding of the complex interactions between cancer cells and normal cells could tell us why treatments fail and how to improve them.

Professor Jen Morton and her team have tested the effects of various drugs and drug combinations on mice that are relevant to treating patients . These studies have generated an extensive collection of samples and survival data, and a unique opportunity to characterise the biology that contributes to treatment resistance. Dr. Xiao Fu’s team plan to develop computer methods to analyse this data and characterise drug resistance. Establishing this computational tool to explore different drug combinations will save time and money and will help identify novel treatments for pancreatic cancer. The most promising strategies will be tested in mice and relevance to patients will also be evaluated from the Precision Panc study. Through this project, Dr Xiao Fu and Professor Jen Morton at the CRUK Scotland Institute aim to integrate computational and experimental approaches to improve our understanding of treatment resistance mechanisms and identify more effective strategies to better treat pancreatic cancer.

Dr Xiao Fu and Professor Jen Morton at the CRUK Scotland Institute 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 integrate computational and experimental approaches to improve their understanding of treatment resistance mechanisms and identify more effective strategies to better treat pancreatic cancer.

They are also looking to hold a focus group on either Wednesday 29th May or Thursday 30th May from 5-7 pm to get your insights and discuss this project further.

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 Fu and Morton’. We will then email you the lay summary and any specific questions Dr Xiao Fu and Professor Jen Morton would like you to consider. Please return your responses to the research team by Monday 13th May 2024.

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 (research@pancreaticcancer.org.uk) with your details and the date(s) you are available, quoting the involvement reference ‘ITG Fu and Morton’ by Monday 13th May 2024.