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Finding the right treatment for the right patient in pancreatic cancer

Recipient:  Ricky Cunningham (Future Leader)

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Biankin

Host Institution: Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, University of Glasgow

Title: Using PET scans to determine treatment response to preoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy

Type of award: 2015 Future Leaders Fund

Status: Live

Funding: £99,908

Under the leadership of Professor Andrew Biankin, Ricky Cunningham will be working in the area of personalised medicine, which has the potential to tailor therapies for individual patients by matching the molecular characteristics of their disease with their treatment.

Ricky will initially use computer-based bio-informatic techniques to identify a set of molecular features (biomarkers) that characterise a subset of pancreatic cancer which is likely to be vulnerable to one or more treatments. He will then test whether these biomarkers do in fact predict response with the aim of finding a set of biomarkers that is ready for testing in a clinical trial.

This research could identify the patients who will respond to a certain therapy prior to treatment will maximise benefits in those who are likely to respond and avoid ineffective therapies (and associated unwanted side effects) in those individuals where the treatment is unlikely to work.