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Barbara reports that she and her friends hadn’t planned on bidding for the yacht trip at the Annual LAPR&D Charity Ball - we just did it on the night! When we were successful we decided that our whole table would go! The advice we received about the budget we needed for food, drink, fuel and sailing plans etc. was spot on. We met the yacht and crew in Palma, Majorca. The weather in early April was warm but a bit windy so the captain advised on the best route each day - we sailed to Port Adriana then onto Andratx. All the crew were so friendly and looked after us amazingly! We ate fabulous food (mostly on board) plus a lovely meal at a restaurant in Port Adriana (where we docked overnight) - recommended and booked for us by the captain.
None of us had sailed before but we felt in very safe hands. The yacht has everything you could wish for on board and was a fabulous experience and a great laugh with great friends - the crew were there when we needed them but totally unobtrusive. They had a birthday cake made for one of our party and made the day extra special for us all - they felt like part of the family by the time we sadly had to depart.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend anyone to do this if you get the chance - especially as the proceeds from the bid go to such a wonderful charity.
Note from LAPR&D - thanks for sharing your story with us Barbara and for you and your friends generous support for our Charity.
In late spring 2017, we launched our second major research project that aims to identify biomarkers of metastatic Pancreatic cancer (see diagram below) and investigate drugs targeting Pancreatic Cancer cells. The project is being led by researcher Dr. Pardis Avinrad, who has expertise in the cancer stem cells and biomarkers fields, working under the supervision of Emre Sayan PhD and Lecturer and Associate Professor of cancer biology at Southampton University Hospital.
Pancreatic Cancer continues to be difficult to diagnose at an early stage and treat; there are no biomarkers (early warning tests) of metastatic Pancreatic Cancer and also no drugs that specifically target Pancreatic Cancer cells.
Our research project has 3 main goals:
1 identify biomarkers of metastatic pancreatic cancer,
2 predict what the body’s response is to certain anti pancreatic cancer drugs to slow down, halt or prevent Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) 
3 use the models to discover drugs that would prevent or slow down the spread of pancreatic cancer.
During this first year of the project we aim to characterize 10 pancreatic cancer cell lines for their ability to resist chemotherapy, metastasize and acquire stem cell features. Once we have identified the key factors playing the most significant role in the spread of Pancreatic Cancer, we will perform Immunohistochemistry (IHC) technique. This is a method for selectively imaging the presence and location of proteins in cells of a tissue section. The IHC will analyse 100 Pancreatic cancer patients and investigate clinico-pathological variables in relation to the expression of EMT-inducers and other parameters such as stem cell features. We are hoping that, as with our findings in other cancers (such as liver and breast), at least 1 EMT inducing transcription factor will correlate with Pancreatic cancer spread and patient survival.
In its first six months the project has already made some progress. The research team has focused on understanding the different biological (differentiation) states of cells and the minimum requirements to ensure meaningful tests. The team have concluded that the research requires cells at each of the three stages of differentiations (from well differentiated / healthy cells to less differentiated cells) with the same genetics i.e. from the same patient.
The next stage (years 2 and 3) of the project is to try and identify new drugs and concentration/dosage levels that can act in the right way on the different stages of the disease to kill metastatic pancreatic cancer cells.
We will keep you updated on progress via the News section of our website. In the meantime if you wish to support this research programme please visit our "donate now" section of the website and thank you for your interest.
 Metastasis is the spread of cancer or other disease from one organ or part of the body to another without being directly connected with it.
 Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is a process whereby healthy cells (epithelial) with highly adhesive properties, acquire cancerous features (mesenchymal).
On 15 November 2017 Nik Dakin MP for Scunthorpe and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer hosted a meeting in Parliament of stakeholders, including LAPR&D, to launch the publication of “Need for Speed.” This is the group’s strategy on tackling pancreatic cancer. A copy of the document can be found at http://www.pancanappg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/5934_PCUK_APPG_Report_HR4.pdf
LAPR&D were consulted on the content of the strategy which includes 6 themes:
1. INCREASED RESEARCH FUNDING
2. MORE AND EXPANDED PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS
3. INCREASED GP SUPPORT
4. FASTER DIAGNOSTIC PATHWAYS
5. FAST TRACK SURGERY AND OTHER TREATMENTS
6. CANCER STRATEGY AND CANCER ALLIANCES
The launch meeting, attended by over 100 delegates, heard from medical professionals on the need to do things differently - focus on early diagnosis; jaundice clinic and treatment within a week. Speakers encouraged the use of “Need for Speed” as a working document to influence attitudes. They also explained the difficulty in that symptoms are vague and 38% of patients had to visit their GP 3 times before being referred for specialist care. It is vital therefore that decision aids are develop to assist diagnosis and keep GPs updated.
The meeting also heard from Cariad Lloyd, actor, comedian and writer who has appeared in Peep Show, Have I Got News For You and 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown. She lost her own father to pancreatic cancer when she was 15. She supported the work of the APPPG and the proposals in the “Need for Speed”. She joked, abeit with a serious message “the pancreas does not get a good press; you aren’t told to get it out and give it a feel! It is the antithesis to Donald Trump! We need to shout about it to ensure we get more survivors!”
Paul Over, Charity Volunteer, who attended the meeting on behalf of LAPR&D said “I was really impressed with the amount of work that has been undertaken to raise the profile of pancreatic cancer. If the proposals contained with the strategy document “Need for Speed”, especially those related to early diagnosis and research, are acted upon then there is much to be hopeful for. LAPR&D are funding new research that will support the aims of the APPG and is interested in collaborating with others to increase the speed with which we reached our shared objectives”.
An update on our research programme can be found in our Winter 2017 Newsletter, available via our website, and a detailed update will be provided shortly.