Research Highlights

There are several research projects being conducted by the Centre. The goal of these projects is to gain insight that will allow us to improve patient experience and disease outcome. Some of these are listed here:

  • Molecular pathways in pancreatic cancer: This project is currently ongoing. It involves the analysis of tumour tissue and/or plasma samples to study pathways that are activated in pancreatic cancer, including those that have been identified in basic research. A variety of sophisticated approaches may be utilised including tissue analyses, proteomics and deep sequencing of nucleic acids. The goals of this project are to identify and characterise new pathways of importance in the development and maintenance of pancreatic cancer, and to correlate these with disease outcome.

  • Biomarkers from pancreatic cysts: This study is currently open and recruiting patients. It aims to identify biomarkers from pancreatic cysts, using proteomics-based approaches. The goal of this project is to differentiate cysts that will eventually develop cancer from those that will remain non-cancerous. This will improve diagnostic accuracy and prevent unwanted surgery, thereby improving the patient experience.

  • Pancreatic cancer care: This study is an epidemiological evaluation of patient management. It involves collecting information on the number of patients diagnosed annually with pancreatic cancer, the percentage of these patients who receive treatment, palliative care and support, and the number who enrol on clinical trials.

  • Therapeutic innovation: This a long-term research goal, with a particular focus on transforming laboratory research into deliverable therapeutic applications. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Using agents to alter the stromal density and thereby improve drug delivery to pancreatic tumours

  • Using targeted agents to inhibit pathways that are important in pancreatic cancer biology

  • Chemotherapy combinations that have synergistic anti-neoplastic effects on tumour cells