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Suggs visits pancreatic cancer researchers

Posted by: Comms 22 November 2016

To mark Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month we invited our Ambassador Suggs, his family and guests to find out more about the research we fund and what’s new in the pancreatic cancer research field.

We have been lucky enough to have the support of Suggs, family and friends for the past four years through the annual fundraiser, An Evening with Suggs and Friends, organised by The Gig Company. To date the events have raised over £400,000 and current and future research is an area of particular interest to all those involved.

The annual gig is in memory of Suggs’ sister-in-law, Alanah who very sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 and we were so pleased to welcome her husband Keith Porritt and son Jerome amongst the guests at the visit.

Our Deputy Chair of trustees and pancreatic cancer survivor, Lynne Walker kicked off the visit at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, Royal Free Hospital highlighting the great strides we are making in transforming the landscape in research and summarising the vital services, support and education we provide to thousands of families affected and health professionals working in the field. She also talked about her own experience of diagnosis and treatment.

Guests then heard about a range of topics covering current and future developments in research, including an overview of the research funded by us into early diagnosis and pancreatic neuroendocrine biomarkers, as well as other areas such as immunotherapy and pancreatic cancer screening.

Suggs Research Visit 2

Pictured: Professor Eric O’Neill, Viva McPherson, Keith Porritt, Professor Massimo Pinzani and Professor Steve Pereira

Professor Steve Pereira, Professor of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, University College London explained how the early diagnosis study funded by us aims to provide primary care physicians with a rapid diagnostic pathway for patients with pancreatic cancer by implementing early detection tests in symptomatic, ‘at-risk’ patients. This will be achieved by validating promising early biomarkers in pre-diagnosis blood samples for a screening or diagnostic test, refining and ratifying an early symptoms tool to identify individuals at risk of pancreatic cancer, and trialling the rapid diagnostic pathway within the North London Cancer Network. It will also test promising candidate biomarkers specifically for the detection of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNETs), using newly collected patient samples and those collected from women prior to their diagnosis, as explained by Professor Justin Hsuan.

The day culminated in a tour of the labs where researchers talked us through the process of how they identify and analyse proteins linked to pancreatic cancer.

We are incredibly grateful to all the guests and researchers that took the time to share and learn more about promising developments in pancreatic cancer research, now and in the future.

The next An Evening with Suggs and Friends event will take place in 2017. Keep an eye on our website for details!