Survival for pancreatic cancer is very low – less than 3% people survive for five years following diagnosis – and this has not improved in decades. The vagueness of pancreatic cancer symptoms such as back pain, weight loss, and indigestion, and the absence of effective early detection tests frequently leads to late diagnosis of this disease. Indeed, 53% of patients are currently diagnosed with stage 4 disease, after the cancer has already metastasised, making it more difficult to treat successfully.
Siim Pauklin (Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences) has been awarded funding from the Pancreatic Cancer UK Research Innovation Fund to develop a test for early stage disease. It is known that cancer cells, including pancreatic cancer cells, shed DNA into the blood. Dr Pauklin aims to identify a pancreatic cancer-specific DNA signature that will allow the presence of pancreatic cancer in the body to be detected using a blood test.
Read more about this project on the Pancreatic Cancer UK website.