Cancer trial making ‘real changes’ to survival rates for patients

A pancreatic cancer trial that aims to match patients with more targeted and effective treatments for their tumours has recruited its 100th patient.

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

Under the project, each patient has a tumour biopsy, with the material then used for molecular profiling at the Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory  (GPOL) at the university.

The results can then be used to help match patients to the most suitable treatment or clinical trial for them.

The success of the project over the last year has seen it rolled out to 16 sites around the UK, the university said.

Professor Andrew Biankin, director of the university’s Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, 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.”

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK with a five-year survival rate of less than 3%.

Around 9,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the UK and around 9,000 people die of the disease, experts said.

Dr Ian Walker, director of clinical research at Cancer Research UK, said: “While overall survival from cancer has doubled over the last 40 years, pancreatic cancer has only seen little improvement, and too many people die from the disease each year.

“Innovative studies like Precision-Panc are vital to changing the outlook for these patients and we look forward to seeing how it continues to progress.”

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