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The detection, imaging and therapy of pancreatic cancer

Recipient: Professor Roy Bicknell

Host Institution: University of Birmingham

Title: The detection, imaging and therapy of pancreatic cancer

Type of award: 2013 Research Innovation Fund 

Funding: £57,440

Pancreatic cancer has the poorest survival rate of any of the most common types of cancer with only 3-5% survival 5 years after diagnosis. The primary reason for this extremely poor prognosis is because by the time of diagnosis it is already too late. Therefore, there is a critical need for a sensitive but cheap screening assay for patients at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer. We have identified a protein that is found in the bloodstream and on the blood vessels of pancreatic cancer patients but not found in patients with no known disease. This study looks to develop techniques of detecting this protein in the blood for diagnostic purposes. This method of detection is far less expensive than using imaging technology and would permit regular testing to detect cancer as early as possible. We also propose to develop a new method for visualising pancreatic tumours in patients, which also targets this protein.