Cancer Research UK has tripled its investment in pancreatic cancer, one of the hardest cancers to treat, since launching its research strategy in 2014 – according to new figures published today.
The charity increased spending on pancreatic cancer research – including improving diagnosis and treatment – to £18million in the 2015/16 financial year, tripling the £6million investment in 2013/14.
One of the charity’s aims is to help tackle the rising rates of pancreatic cancer, in particular in women, as well as improving survival rates from the disease.
In the East Midlands, around 530 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 10 years ago, today around 670 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (Based on average annual number of new pancreatic cancer cases in the East Midlands between 2001-2003 and 2011-2013.)
Over this same period in the East Midlands, pancreatic cancer mortality rates have increased by 9 per cent in the past 10 years (Annual average age-standardised mortality rate for pancreatic cancer in the East Midlands between 2001-2003 and 2011-2013)
These Cancer Research UK figures are announced to coincide with new TV advertisements for the ‘Right Now’ campaign. The campaign is designed to highlight the personal impact of cancer in a series of 30 second films and outdoor posters which show the experience of patients going through treatment or being told test results.
Cancer Research UK hopes the campaign will highlight that cancer continues to have an emotional and physical impact, and that research is happening right now to develop better treatments and improve survival for people affected by the disease.
Cancer Research UK also wants to offer hope as it increases funding into pancreatic cancer research across the country, ranging from clinical trials to find the best chemotherapy combinations to give patients after surgery, to discovering the faulty genes and molecules that make pancreatic cancer grow and spread.
In 2014 Cancer Research UK recruited world-leading pancreatic cancer research expert, Professor Andrew Biankin from Australia, to work at the Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre.
Professor Biankin now leads a team helping to unearth the genetic and molecular secrets hidden within the biggest collection of pancreatic tumour samples in the world. His findings could lead to better ways of matching therapies to patients, and uncover new avenues for treatment.
Professor Biankin said: “Pancreatic cancer is an inherently aggressive disease and it’s often diagnosed late, which puts it a step ahead of us when we come to treat it. We need to be more ambitious and hit the disease hard and fast with new approaches. We need to diagnose these cancers swiftly so patients can get onto clinical trials which may help them.”
Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the East Midlands, said: “Our Right Now campaign highlights the reality of cancer.
“We want to inspire people in the East Midlands to see the campaign and feel motivated to act – right now – to help more people survive. There are so many ways to get involved – from signing up for Race for Life to giving time to volunteer in our shops. The actions people take today will make a real difference to men, women and children fighting cancer both now and in the future.”
You can learn more by visiting Cancer Research UK online