Towards a method to early detect pancreatic cancer

Towards a method to early detect pancreatic cancer

I have an idea that may lead to a method for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Money for preliminary studies is needed.

We did it!

On 17th Nov 2015 we successfully raised £30 with 2 supporters in 28 days


My name is Dr Jordi Morral. I am a UK based research scientist with 13 years of research experience. I am a part-time lecturer, an honorary research fellow at an institute of cancer research, an independent researcher and a member of the British Association for Cancer Research.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control, forming a mass of tissue called a tumour. It can occur in the head, body or tail of the pancreas. - See more at:

The pancreas is a large gland that's part of the digestive system. It's about 15cm (six inches) long, and is located high in the abdomen, behind the stomach, where the ribs meet at the bottom of the breastbone.

The pancreas produces:

  • digestive enzymes – which break down food so it can be absorbed into the body
  • hormones – including insulin, which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable

Around 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year, making it the 11th most common cancer. In the early stages, a tumour in the pancreas doesn't usually cause any symptoms, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Many times when it is diagnosed it is too late. In fact, if you have symptoms of a pancreatic cancer, it is usually too late to change the course of the disease.

There is a particular protein that is very abundant in pancreatic cancer. When this protein reacts with a chemical in the body, this happens very quickly - so quickly that it is not possible to detect it with the methods that we currently have. I would like to develop a method to detect the course of this reaction from the moment that it occurs. If we can do that, we should be able to see if this protein is really very abundant in a patient or not, and therefore if a patient may have started developing pancreatic cancer. After further research this could lead to earlier detection of pancreatic cancer.

The idea is sound, but money for preliminary studies is needed before starting further research. The money raised will be use to help with my expenses, to buy reagents and consumables and to pay postgraduate student fees. THe work will be developed in the institute of cancer research.

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