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What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer originates in the pancreas. It is more common in the middle-aged population and the elderly, and has a prevalence of approximately 10,000 cases yearly in the UK. The majority of these cancers are adenocarcinomas with a  second, less common type of pancreatic cancer being of neuroendocrine origin.

Pancreatic cancer is considered very aggressive and even in the early stages has a 5-year survival rate of 7-25%. A key positive prognostic factor is the possibility of surgical removal, however, only a small number of patients are eligible for this based on their condition and disease stage. Prognosis becomes progressively poorer in later stages, which is particularly problematic, as the early stages are commonly non-symptomatic.  As a result patients are often initially diagnosed at a late stage.

Why would I want to study pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is particularly aggressive and commonly leaves patients with a short life expectancy on diagnosis. As a result, research that targets early diagnosis, can improve prognostic outcomes, while there is requirement for improved intervention; all of which are potentially of very high impact to a substantial number of patients.

The aggressive nature, short survival and often advanced stage at diagnosis render sourcing of samples sub-optimal for many researchers. The Oxford CRUK centre is in a position to offer FFPE samples and, in collaboration with the Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust can mediate collection of fresh samples for research.

What samples are available?

Specimen collections available are collected from resections, and can be supplied fresh or in the form of formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) blocks.

How do I gain access?

Should you wish to gain access to these samples, bloods and data, please contact