Pancreatic cancer continues to be one of the hardest cancers to treat, so as part of our Research Strategy, we’ve pledged to boost research in this area with the ultimate aim of improving patients’ survival.
Professor Nick Lemoine, Director of the Barts Cancer Institute, is a world-leading expert in pancreatic cancer and as part of our ongoing Expert Opinion series, he shares his vision for a future in which we can beat this disease.
Cancer Research UK: Why did you choose to focus on pancreatic cancer?
Nick Lemoine: It is a serious health problem across the western world and is becoming an increasing problem worldwide as we get more industrialised and people live longer.
Sadly, the 5-year survival rate hasn’t changed for the last 40 years, and that’s something that urgently needs addressing.
Cancer Research UK: What makes pancreatic cancer so difficult to treat?
Nick Lemoine: One significant problem with the pancreas is that it is deep within the body. You can’t see it, you can’t feel it and by the time symptoms or signs of the disease develop, surgery is no longer an option. And unfortunately, conventional chemotherapy drugs, which have largely been developed for other types of cancer, aren’t very effective, and neither is radiotherapy. So we need a new approach to the problem.