Pancreatic Cancer Research: What’s New after Another Year in the Lab?
At the moment, Professor Michal Hol?apek of the Department of Analytical Chemistry and his team try to register a number of patents, and choose the best strategy to implement the national phase in selected countries which plan to focus on pancreatic cancer; the one with worst prognosis.
In ten months, the team of Professor Hol?apek acted upon all the comments, except for the mice tests. The reason is that it is an extremely expensive experiment carried out only by a few laboratories in the world. “At the moment, we have finished all the tests related to the paper, and we plan to amend the manuscript and resubmit the paper to the same journal,” says Professor Hol?apek admitting that he wished he had made more progress. Unfortunately, there are both internal and external factors hindering the research, such as the high price of patent protection, search for a business partner to implement the project, non-existence of an ethical board at the university and slow development with commissioned research for other university hospitals. “The hospitals that have provided the samples ask for results. We are doing our best to publish the key findings about pancreatic cancer and make initial attempts to translate our method to another laboratory.”
At the moment, there are no screening procedures for early detection of a number of cancer types. “The methods that are available use glycoproteins, and they are not that reliable. Their reliability rate ranges from 70 to 80%. They fail, however, for early stages,” adds Professor Hol?apek. What is key about the method developed at the University of Pardubice is that it works the same for any stage of the cancer. It is hard to treat patients with late stages of pancreatic cancer. Depending on the stage, the patient may live for a year or two, and is extremely unlikely to cure. If all tests are completed successfully and the method is translated into clinical practice, it will be success for the team of Professor Hol?apek on a global scale, but more importantly it could save human lives thank to early diagnosis.