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Bacteria and pancreatic cancer

  • Researcher: Dr Núria Malats
  • Institution: CNIO, Madrid, Spain
  • Award Amount: £196,071 for 3 years from April 2015
  • Cancer Type: Pancreatic Cancer
Bacteria and pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed late, is hard to treat, and unlike other cancers, survival has improved very little since the 1970s. In the UK alone, 24 people every day are diagnosed with this cancer.*“Pancreatic cancer is a dreadful disease,” says Dr Malats. “And no advances have been made towards its control in the last few decades. We need to know more about how this cancer develops.” Dr Malats and her team will be studying the role of bacteria, which live inside us all, and whether they could be a factor in development of pancreatic cancer. She explains why: “Earlier studies have linked the development of pancreatic cancer with chronic, long-term, inflammation, and bacterial organisms living in the human body can sometimes cause chronic inflammation. It is imperative we assess inflammatory-related factors like bacteria and their association with pancreatic cancer”. The team will compare bacteria in saliva and stool samples from patients with pancreatic cancer to those from patients who do not have cancer. They hope this will reveal if there is any association between these bacteria and the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. “I hope this work will help increase our knowledge about what can alter a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer,” says Dr Malats. “This in turn could help in us to find new and effective ways to prevent this disease.” * Latest statistics from Cancer Research UK
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