A pancreatic cancer trial in the UK, which intends to match patients with more targeted and effective treatment for their tumours, has recruited its 100th patient.


Image: Microscopic view of Pancreatic cancer cells. Photo: Courtesy of University of Glasgow.

The trial is run by Precision-Panc, a research program and clinical trials project led by the University of Glasgow with major funding from Cancer Research UK.

It brings a precision medicine approach to pancreatic cancer treatment for the first time in the UK.

Believed to be the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK, the cancer has a 5-year survival rate of less than 3%. Around 9,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year in the UK and nearly 9,000 people die.

In December 2017, Precision-Panc started working with colleagues in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board to recruit pancreatic cancer patients to the Precision-Panc Master Protocol at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

The project is claimed to have been successful last year that it has now been rolled out to 16 sites across the country, offering potential treatment for the cancer patients across the nation.

The aim of the Precision-Panc is to make precision medicine a reality for more and more people with pancreatic cancer by building a knowledge-base that can allow clinicians to match patients with the most suitable treatment or clinical trial.

The project at the University aims to facilitate drug development, and ultimately new drug approval, allowing access and improving survival in patients with pancreatic cancer.

Part of the protocol, every patient will undergo tumour biopsy to obtain material which will be used for molecular profiling at the Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory (GPOL) within the university. Results will then be used to match the patients with an appropriate and available clinical trial.

The ability of linking clinical data with every patient’s unique molecular profiling data can enhance the providing precision medicine that best suits each of the patients.

Precision Panc and the University of Glasgow Regius Chair of Surgery and Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre Director Andrew Biankin said: “I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve so far with Precision Panc. Recruiting the 100th patient is a milestone for us and signals our ability to make real changes to the lives and survival rates of patients with pancreatic cancer.

“The success we have achieved so far – including opening 17 sites across the country – is testament to what we are able to achieve and deliver for patients as a team.”