During Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month we'll be asking you to #RaiseForResearch in lots of different ways - to Raise Your Voice by inviting your MP to our APPG meeting, to Raise Awareness in your local community with free posters and leaflets and to Raise Funds by organising something fun! But we thought you should know what Research you're helping by doing all this. So, we've put together a series of blog posts that will be going up throughout November from researchers and medical professionals who receive money from Pancreatic Cancer UK…and from you.
First up is Jo Tod, who made an application to our Future Research Leaders Fund and is funded via the MRC. Here she is to explain a little bit more about the research she's conducting…
Jo Tod conducting research
'Tumour biology in long-term survivors of Pancreatic Cancer'
"In order to improve the outcome of pancreatic cancer it is imperative that we gain a better understanding of the underlying tumour biology. The majority of studies focus on features of the tumour associated with poor outcome, however what we think is more fascinating is the tumour biology of patients who had a good outcome and long survival - these patients may hold clues to potential mechanisms that prevent more aggressive disease.
Our study is a multi-centre European study developed within the Pancreas2000 program (http://pancreas2000.org/) - a program designed to promote research collaborations in young researchers and doctors throughout Europe with an interest in the Pancreas. I am the team leader for the study with a team of young researchers from Germany, Poland, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, and Hungary.
Our study aims to identify a large cohort of patients from across Europe with long survival following surgery for pancreatic cancer. We plan to investigate the tumours of these patients to identify biological markers associated with good outcome.
We are at the early stages of project development however we are making excellent progress and aim to complete the study within two years. We hope that this study will identify markers that will give us a greater knowledge of the disease, and provide insights that will allow development of more targeted therapies for pancreatic cancer. The formation of a young enthusiastic Pancreas2000 collaborative team will also be a fantastic resource for further multi-centre studies and the future of pancreatic cancer research."
Jo works within the Experimental Pathology Group in the Cancer Sciences Unit at the University of Southampton
If you'd like to know more about research and Pancreatic Cancer UK, head to our Research pages on our website.