Pancreatic Cancer Action announces recipients of Early Diagnosis Challenge Award research grants

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35771838_mlPancreatic Cancer Action, a charity that exists to save lives by focusing on improving early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, is proud to award four Early Diagnosis Challenge Award research grants.  The grants, which total £160,000, will fund unique and exciting projects in the UK that aim to develop an early detection test for pancreatic cancer.

The Early Diagnosis Challenge Award programme is part of Pancreatic Cancer Action’s research strategy that aims to invest at least £1 million into research in the next five years.  It provides grants to research projects that have a focus on increasing the number of patients who are diagnosed in time for surgery – currently the only potential for a cure for pancreatic cancer.

In 2015, researchers were invited to submit detailed proposals for their work, and the grants were awarded following a rigorous review process with the best being selected by an International Scientific Advisory Committee Chaired by Professor Hemant Kocher from Barts Cancer Institute, London. The four projects that will be funded are:

One of the award recipients, John Timms, who is leading A Novel Approach to the early detection of pancreatic cancer project, said: “Receiving the award from Pancreatic Cancer Action is fantastic news. The funding will allow us to build and test novel biomarker models as blood tests for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. We are using a completely novel approach to combining candidate biomarker data from a unique set of blood samples taken prior to the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. We hope to translate the findings of this exciting work into a rapid diagnostic pathway for pancreatic cancer.”

Ali Stunt, chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer Action and pancreatic cancer survivor, said: “Pancreatic cancer takes the lives of far too many and we want to do all we can to improve the dire survival rates.  Research into ways to detect pancreatic cancer early is imperative to truly transform outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.”

“We were delighted with the applications that we received and believe the selected projects offer real hope for finding new ways to test for pancreatic cancer.  Each project is different and by funding a variety of projects, we are more likely to make significant scientific and clinical discoveries.”

For more information on pancreatic cancer and Pancreatic Cancer Action, please visit www.pancreaticcanceraction.org.