The Ralph Bates Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund

Finances

YEAR TO 31 MARCH 2019 – REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES, ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE PLANS.

During the year, our research at St George’s University of London, has continued, albeit at a reduced pace. Our main area of research has concentrated on identifying proteins which could kill cancerous cells and which, with a combination of standard chemotherapy treatment, can affect the behaviour of cells around those cancerous cells. This research continues to show that the growth and survival rate of pancreatic cancer cells can be reduced.

During the year, we relied heavily upon student BSc researchers working in teams lead by a qualified Professor. This is beneficial, as new ideas and thoughts are generated. A vast array of data has been generated which needs further in-depth analysis and we will shortly be actively recruiting a full-time experienced research assistant. This approach has enabled us to build our financial resources so that we can support the team going forward.

The other team at St George’s continued their research into the application of various combinations of drugs. “Combination” could mean physical combination, drugs taken at the same time, maybe one before the other, maybe one on one day and the other on the next etc. This research has progressed well, but due to financial constraints we have, unfortunately, now ceased our involvement in this area of research. We do, however, maintain a strong relationship with the research team.

YEAR TO 31 MARCH 2018 – REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES, ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE PLANS

During the year, our research has continued. Both research teams at St George’s University of London feel they have made progress and we were able to support further research at Kingston University.

Research by one of our teams at St George’s into the use of proteins to kill cancerous cells, has continued and has confirmed that following the treatment of cancerous cells with a combination of Gemcitabine (which is the standard chemotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer) and a protein released by healthy cells and which can affect the behaviour of cells around them, that the growth and survival rate of pancreatic ceils is reduced.

  • pancreatic cancer cell death is induced and
  • there is an increase in the protein which suppresses cancerous cell growth. This is an area which is now being actively explored, as it is necessary to ascertain the mechanism behind the increase in the protein as well as the possibility that this tumour suppressor protein may be present in other cell compartments.

This research is ongoing.

The other team at St George’s has continued their research into the application of various combinations of drugs. “Combination” does not necessarily mean physical combination, but could mean drugs taken at the same time, maybe one before the other, maybe one on one day and the other on the next etc. This research has again progressed well.
We have been supporting this research for over 25 years and due to the dedication of the research team and the generous donations of our supporters, have seen real progress, but financial constraints mean we may not be able to continue to fund this part of our research much longer.

The short-term project at Kingston University in Surrey has now finished. The research involved examining the method in which laboratory produced proteins fix themselves to the surface of pancreatic cancer cells to help to kill those cells or to enhance immunity. This is important for cancer therapy. The team are pleased with the result of their research, which has also shown that an identified protein is over-expressed in pancreatic cancer. This could be useful for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in pancreatic cancer.