2 March 2022

New 2022-2025 research project launched

Liver and Pancreatic Cancer Research & Development (LAPR&D) – a fund of Southampton Hospitals Charity is delighted to announce a new funding partnership with a research team based in University Hospital Southampton.

The project, led by Dr. William Tapper, has attracted £35,000 of LAPR&D funding. The project will undertake studies to produce a risk score that will assist in the prediction of pancreatic cancer. The risk score should help identify the population at risk of developing pancreatic cancer for secondary screening.

Dr. Tapper comments, “pancreatic cancer remains a stubbornly difficult cancer to treat and as with many cancers, early detection is crucial to improving patient outcomes.

Often detection comes too late and survival rates remain low compared to other forms of cancer.  We are in the fortunate position of having access to the UK BioBank which retains samples that we can utilise to speed the research”.

The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is challenging at early stages because of its hidden anatomical position and relatively low occurrence in the population.

A change of pancreatic function is mainly translated to vague abdominal symptoms and deranged blood sugar. Therefore, further innovative technologies to predict people at risk of pancreatic cancer is particularly important for early detection.  The aim is that this research programme will identify a group of people who will benefit from screening without major financial impact on the public health system.

Professor Andrew Collins and Dr. Zaed Hamady will support the project and regular updates will be provided as progress is made.

The funds will be used, along with other secured funds, to employ a full-time PhD student to undertake the research.  Recruitment is underway to identify a suitable appointee.

Kelvin Davis, LAPR&D Patron and former Southampton Football Club goalkeeper and captain stated “The LAPR&D fund is delighted to be involved in this research.

The past 18 months have been very difficult for the charity sector generally to run events and raise funds and we are no exception.  It is therefore particularly pleasing to get underway again with our first major new funding initiative on such an important cause.”

LAPR&D strongly believe that raising awareness of pancreatic cancer and its signs and symptoms can save lives.

More than 50% of patients have never heard of pancreatic cancer before their own diagnosis and half the population cannot name a single symptom of pancreatic cancer – that’s why raising awareness is so vital!

Unlike many other forms of cancer, detection and cure rates have not improved in the last 40 years.

LAPR&D, via its world-leading research programme based at University Hospital Southampton, is trying to improve the life chances of those who contract this disease.

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer here.

More about LAPR&D

The LAPR&D fund (a fund of Southampton Hospitals Charity) was set up by surgeon Professor Mo Abu Hilal in 2012 and several patients with liver and pancreatic diseases.

The LAPR&D team are based at University Hospital Southampton. They aim to deliver improvements in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers of the liver and pancreas.

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