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Review a study looking at personalised immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer

Lay study title: Comment on a research proposal: ‘Manipulating the immune system in improve pancreatic cancer therapy.’

Institution: This research proposal is being developed by the University of Glasgow, with the hope of being awarded funding.

About the study: Pancreatic cancer will soon become the second most deadly cancer. Cancer specialists have been trying to improve treatments by tailoring therapies to individual patients based on each patient’s genetic make-up, and to the genetic make-up of pancreatic cancer. In previous work, researchers in Glasgow have shown that there are four sub-types of pancreatic cancer. Knowing which genes are mutated in a patient’s cancer enables scientists to predict what therapies might treat their cancer better, eliminating the need for ineffective treatments. Recently, harnessing the patient’s own immune system has been successful in fighting several cancers – this is known as immunotherapy.

Normally, cancer cells can produce signals which cause the body’s immune system to ignore tumours. The goal of Dr Nigel Jamieson’s work is to assess the immune system within the tumour to better understand its role in pancreatic cancer, enabling us to combine immune therapies with chemotherapy. Dr Jamieson will develop a laboratory study for testing these treatments before he hopes to start a trial in humans, determining which patients would benefit most from immune directed treatments, personalising the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Type of opportunity: This is an opportunity to review the ‘lay summary’ of this proposal, both to help improve the summary for public engagement, but also to comment on the proposal and its importance to people affected by pancreatic cancer.   

When will this opportunity be recruiting/taking place?: The deadline for the researchers to submit their proposal is 14th August, so if you’re interested in getting involved please let the study lead know as soon as possible (details below).

What will participants be asked to do?: You will be presented with a plain English ‘lay summary’ of the research proposal. You will then have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on how the summary is written, but also the objectives of the study and how important it is to patients. Your feedback will be important in helping this proposal as the researchers seek funding.

Who can take part?: Members of the Pancreatic Cancer UK Research Involvement Network (RIN).

Who is conducting the research? University of Glasgow pancreatic cancer research team is led by Professor Andrew Biankin. The lead investigator for this specific part of the research plan as discussed in this application would be led by Dr Nigel Jamieson.

How will the study benefit people affected by pancreatic cancer?: Your involvement could help improve this study, and therefore aid its chances of being awarded funding. The eventual study will look to identify patients who have a subgroup of pancreatic cancer that may benefit from therapies targeting the immune system.

What next/who to contact: To be involved and comment on this proposal, please contact Dr Nigel Jamieson, Clinical Lecturer in General Surgery at the University of Glasgow:

E: nigel.jamieson@glasgow.ac.uk / T: 0141 201 8655