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Developing tests to find pancreatic cancer earlier (TEM-PAC)

Full research title: Study of Tumour Regulatory Molecules as Markers of Malignancy in Pancreatic Cystic Lesions (TEM-PAC)

Why is this study being carried out?

Pancreatic cancer can be hard to diagnose, and people often need to have a few different tests. This is because pancreatic cancer doesn’t usually cause many symptoms in the early stages, and symptoms can be quite vague.

The TEM-PAC study is looking into new tests to see if these can find pancreatic cancer earlier. These tests measure the levels of different proteins in your urine (pee) and your blood. The proteins being measured are a type of protein called Tissue Factor, and a protein called Adrenomedullin. Early research has shown that measuring the level of these proteins may help to find cancer earlier.

The study will measure these proteins in people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It will also measure the level of these proteins in people who don’t have cancer, so they can compare the results. This includes:

  • people having tests for pancreatic cysts (see below)
  • people who have developed a cyst after having acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and the cyst has not gone away
  • people with chronic indigestion (indigestion that has gotten worse over time)
  • and people with inflammation of the gallbladder or gallbladder stones.

Pancreatic cysts

Most of the time pancreatic cysts are not cancerous. But sometimes they can develop into pancreatic cancer. Finding changes in pancreatic cysts before a cancer develops may be a way to find pancreatic cancer early.

The TEM-PAC study is also looking at the genes of people with a pancreatic cyst. Genes carry the information that controls how our bodies work, and are individual to each person. For example, genes determine the colour of our eyes and hair. This study wants to see if there are any common genes, or genes that have changes in them if someone has a pancreatic cyst. To look at the genes, a sample of the fluid from a cyst will need to be taken (see below). 

Taking part in the TEM-PAC study will not affect the treatment and care you have. But the results of this study may help to develop better ways to diagnose cancer earlier, so you may help people with pancreatic cancer in the future.

Who is the study suitable for?

The TEM-PAC study may be suitable for you if you:

  • have pancreatic cancer that can be removed by surgery (localised pancreatic cancer)
  • have pancreatic cancer that has spread just outside of the pancreas (locally advanced pancreatic cancer)
  • have a pancreatic cyst that needs further tests or surgery to remove it
  • have developed a pancreatic cyst (called a pseudocyst) after having acute pancreatitis
  • have inflammation of your gallbladder, or gallbladder stones
  • have chronic indigestion (dyspepsia).

The TEM-PAC study may not suitable for you if you:

  • have had another type of cancer in the last 5 years
  • have had HIV, hepatitis C or any other disease that can be contagious.

There may be other reasons for not being able to take part in this study. It is important to speak to your doctor or nurse about whether it might be suitable for you.

What does the study involve?

If you choose to take part in this study you will need to give a urine sample, and the doctor will take a blood sample. These samples will be taken during one of your hospital appointments.

If you are having treatment for a pancreatic cyst, you will also have another blood sample taken, and a sample of cystic fluid taken. Cystic fluid is fluid found in the cyst, so this sample will be taken during surgery or during a test called an endoscopy.

Once you have given these samples you won’t need to do anything else. The samples will be sent to a laboratory for tests, and your treatment and care will continue as normal.

Recruitment start date: December 2018                     

Recruitment end date: May 2022

  • Trial centre

    The TEM-PAC trial is being carried out in:

    Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology

    Castle Hill Hospital

    Kingston Upon Hull

    HU16 5JQ

    Trial lead

    Anthony Maraveyas

    Contact information

    You can contact the trial centre: research.development@hey.nhs.uk or by calling 01482 461883.

  • How to join a trial

    Speak to your doctor or nurse about whether this trial is suitable for you.

    If you have any questions about pancreatic cancer you can speak to one of our specialist nurses on our Support Line.

    How to find out more

    For further information about this trial go to the ClinicalTrials.Gov website.

    For references used to develop this information please email us.