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13 year-old wins award for pancreatic cancer innovation

Posted by: Research 24 October 2018


A U.S.A. teenager, 13 year-old Rishab Jain from Oregon, has won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge with a new approach to locating the pancreas intended to improve the accuracy of radiotherapy. As reported in TIME Magazine, Rishab developed “an algorithm that uses machine learning to help doctors zero in on the pancreas during cancer treatment”. As the TIME piece explains, “Doing so can be difficult, since the pancreas is often obscured by other organs, and since breathing and other bodily processes can cause it to move around the abdominal area.” 

There’s a long way to go before we will know if Rishab’s work can benefit future patients but we at Pancreatic Cancer UK would like to add our praises - well done Rishab!

Nile Amos, Research Manager at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said:

“Huge congratulations to Rishab, it’s so encouraging to see a young scientist focusing their talent on taking the fight to pancreatic cancer. Survival for this devastating disease has barely changed in 40 years, and here in the UK only around two per cent of the cancer research budget is invested in making the breakthroughs that we need to see.

If we’re to transform the future of people affected by pancreatic cancer it’s vital that we harness innovation from the next generation and we’re proud to be doing just that by supporting the students in our Future Leaders Academy. It can take a long time before scientific developments can be proven to be effective, but we look forward to seeing how Rishab’s algorithm progresses and hope one day it could help deliver more targeted treatment.”