Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s first pancreatic tumour tissue resource announced

Dr Richard Turkington from Queen’s University Belfast called the pancreatic cancer research ‘exciting’ (PA)
Dr Richard Turkington from Queen’s University Belfast called the pancreatic cancer research ‘exciting’ (PA) Dr Richard Turkington from Queen’s University Belfast called the pancreatic cancer research ‘exciting’ (PA)

Northern Ireland’s first pancreatic tumour tissue resource has been announced.

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland revealed the £245,000-funded research project at Queen’s University Belfast on World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

The local charity said it comes after a three-year charity partnership with Belfast City Marathon reviewed over 20 years of pancreatic patients’ tumour samples to create a biobank.

It said the resource will allow for better investigation into the role of the immune system in pancreatic cancer prognosis and support the development of early diagnostic testing in the future.

Dr Richard Turkington, clinical reader in medical oncology at Queen’s, said the project will allow the investigation of the role of the immune system in diagnosis.

“This exciting research provides a true population-based patient cohort across all health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“What that means for local people is that we can begin to investigate the role of the immune system on diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with a longer-term goal of seeing the biobank support the development of early diagnostic testing.

“Thank you to everyone who ran, walked or jogged for Cancer Focus NI, your generosity goes a long way in helping to fund local, and vital, cancer research projects.”

Richard Spratt, chief executive at Cancer Focus NI, added: “Earlier this year, our charity announced an ambitious and innovative five-year strategy with a vision of wanting local people to live their most fulfilled lives with access to world-leading, equitable cancer support, treatment, diagnosis, prevention, and research.

“Championing local research has always been a defining strategic objective for our charity, and I’m delighted that, thanks to a wonderful charity partnership with Belfast City Marathon, we have been able to fund such an important project that will make a lasting difference to pancreatic cancer patients for years to come.”

To help the charity fund future cancer research projects, visit  https://cancerfocusni.org/fundraising/gift/ or email hello@cancerfocusni.org.