Multimillion-pound clinical trials 'mark new era for pancreatic cancer'

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A multimillion-pound series of clinical trials in the UK could open up a new era of personalised treatment for pancreatic cancer, it is claimed.

The three trials, supported by £10 million in funding from the charity Cancer Research UK, are part of a major research project aimed at developing precision therapies for the deadly disease.

Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst cancer fatality rates, with only around 3% of sufferers expected to survive five years.

Each year around 9,600 Britons are diagnosed with the disease in the UK and more than 8,800 patients die.

The trials will recruit a total of 658 patients from centres across the UK. Scientists will use the molecular profile of each individual's cancer to tailor personalised treatments.

Professor Andrew Biankin, from the University of Glasgow, who is co-leading the PRECISION Panc project, said: "I believe we're on the cusp of making some incredible advances which will provide therapeutic options to help people affected by this terrible disease."

Cancer Research UK is directly funding two of the trials, as well as pre-clinical work, the development of experimental procedures, and molecular sequencing.

Dr Ian Walker, the charity's director of clinical research, said: "This ambitious project marks a new era for pancreatic cancer.

"Little progress has been made in outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients over the last 40 years, and we believe that PRECISION Panc will reshape how we approach treatment development."

Funding and support has also come from the University of Glasgow, the Wellcome Trust, and the global biopharma company Celgene.