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Chief Medical Officer’s report highlights need for personalised cancer treatment

Posted by: Comms 5 July 2017

Several news outlets including the BBC and the Financial Times have covered the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report, which calls for personalised treatment for cancer patients and suggests that two thirds of cancer patients could benefit from treatment which is tailored to them.

This approach to treatment aims to ensure that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time. This is particularly important in pancreatic cancer because 80 per cent of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage when they are likely to live for just two to six months, so they need to quickly receive the treatment most likely to be effective, to allow them the best chance of living for longer.

Leanne Reynolds, Head of Research at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We are very glad to see the Chief Medical Officer’s report calling for cancer treatment tailored to each patient, through DNA testing to profile each person’s tumour. It is absolutely crucial for people with pancreatic cancer to speedily receive the best treatment for their particular tumour, so they are more likely to have longer to spend with their families. Doctors and other healthcare professionals must now ensure that as many pancreatic cancer patients as possible receive treatment with this approach.

“This is also why the PRECISION Panc project is so vital. The first stage of this ground-breaking project will see over 600 pancreatic cancer patients having their tumours profiled, with the aim of helping doctors identify which treatments or trials are most likely to be effective. The ultimate aim is to ensure that in the future more patients receive the best treatment, or take part in the most effective clinical trial for them, more quickly. If we are to take on this tough cancer, personalised treatment must be a priority. Patients simply must have the chance of living for as long as possible.”

The PRECISION Panc project is being led by Professor Andrew Biankin, at the University of Glasgow. Professor Biankin is also a member of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Scientific Advisory Board