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).