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Advise the design of a study comparing different clinical treatments

Lay study title:  IRE for pancreas cancer

Institution: Co-ordinated via Royal Free Hospital, London

About the study: Surgery is currently the only cure for pancreatic cancer, but for 80% of patients, their condition is too advanced for this to be possible. Where surgery is not possible, patients will often undergo treatments which aim to prolong life. There are different ideas as to which treatments work best for this purpose.

That is why researchers and clinicians working at the Royal Free Hospital are conducting a clinical study is to compare percutaneous irreversible electroporation (IRE) plus chemotherapy, with palliative chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer who cannot have surgery. Percutaneous irreversible electroporation is a technique that uses instruments to destroy soft tissue tumours with an electric current, minimising the risk of damage to nearby organs or blood vessels. There is a treatment called NanoKnife available in the UK which uses this technology.

The team want to undertake this comparison to determine whether there is any beneficial role in patients who have pancreatic cancer and are unable to undergo surgery.

Type of opportunity: The research team are seeking public and patient views on the proposed study protocol, to help them determine whether the study design they have chosen is the most appropriate. They also wish to receive guidance on if they should evaluate irreversible electroporation.

When will this opportunity be recruiting/taking place?:  The study team are looking for members of the Research Involvement Network now.

What will participants be asked to do?: You will be asked to comment on draft documentation about the study, providing feedback wherever you feel necessary from the perspective of a person affected by pancreatic cancer.

Who can take part?: People affected by pancreatic cancer – preferably patients, but carers and relatives are welcome too.

Who is conducting the research?: The researchers are seeking funding from the National Institute of Health Research – your input could help them win funding for this pancreatic cancer research.

Who has reviewed the study?: Currently the proposal has been reviewed by small group of scientific experts. Research Involvement Network members will be the first patients and public to review the study.

How will the study benefit people affected by pancreatic cancer? The data from uncontrolled studies suggests it allows individuals to live longer. We will also determine whether it improves quality of life.

What next/who to contact: If you would like to provide feedback on this study design, please contact Nile in the Pancreatic Cancer UK Research Team by email or call 020 3871 9995.