Cancer Patients

Oncofocus a new powerful and reliable clinical tool to establish the optimal therapeutic pathway for pancreatic cancer.

  • precisely identifies the unique combinations of DNA mutations that cause pancreatic cancer
  • links these mutations to the most appropriate matching targeted therapies and immunotherapies

Everything you need to know about pancreatic cancer

Key points relating to the disease and its treatment.


Where does this type of tumour arise?

How does this type of cancer spread?
What is the standard way to treat this type of tumour?
Are there any other treatment options?
Beyond standard treatments: the era of Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer

What testing is required to identify a targeted therapy?

Benefits of DNA profiling and targeted therapies for Pancreatic Cancer
How does a targeted therapy exactly work?

How do I get a cancer DNA profiling full clinical report?

Where does this type
of tumour arise?

Let’s start by understanding how this desease spreads in the human body.


Pancreatic cancer usually arises in any of these three locations.

Most pancreatic cancers arise from the ducts ; exocrine pancreatic cancer. This grows with a gland like structure and is referred to as adenocarcinoma. The second major cancer type is pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. There are additional subtypes which form the minority of tumours.

How does this type of cancer spread?

Although some of these tumours behave in a benign way, the majority are malignant. Early pancreatic cancers are localized to the pancreas but as the disease progresses it is not rare for them to spread to local lymph nodes and then more distant sites such as the lung and liver.

The earlier the cancer is detected the better the chances of successful treatment. Early disease can be treated with surgery such as a whipple’s procedure aimed at cure. If the tumour has spread further then it is fundamental to know the enemy. Genetic profiling enables the identification of relevant targeted personalised drugs that can be used to control the disease.

Do you want to submit a case to a genetic profiling expert?

What is the standard way to treat this type
of tumour?

Standard approaches to pancreatic cancer:
Surgical removal
Adjuvant Chemotherapy
The standard treatment for early localized pancreatic cancer aimed at cure involves surgical removal of the tumour by undertaking procedures such as a Whipples operation or more limited surgical interventions including total or partial pancreatectomy, which is often followed by chemotherapy to clear up any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant chemotherapy).

In the case of advanced cancers although chemotherapy can’t cure the cancer it can help to control the disease for a time. Additional treatment options include the use of radiotherapy which can help shrink the tumour and relieve pain symptoms. A small tube called a stent can be used if there is a blockage of the bile duct which can alleviate jaundice. These interventions can reduce or control symptoms and significantly improve quality of life.

Are there any other treatment options?

In some cases, standard treatments may not show the desired results. Pancreatic cancer may fail to respond to chemotherapy or alternatively the drugs could stop working. There are also significant side effects associated with standard treatments. It is often a difficult choice for patients and clinicians assessing the benefits and disadvantages of such treatment interventions.

Importantly, however, more modern cancer treatments options are now available for patients who have progressed following standard treatment protocols or are at an advanced stage of disease following spread to distant sites such as bones, liver and lungs.

A new and modern approach to pancreatic cancer which is now becoming part of front line treatment is by using modern anti-cancer personalised drugs called targeted therapies and immunotherapies.

Beyond standard treatments: the era of Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer

Targeted drugs have recently been developed which act as “magic bullets” against a whole spectrum of cancer genes involved in the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer. These targeted agents have been engineered against the specific mutations in the cancer genes that are driving the growth of tumour cells

These new drugs can be more powerful than chemotherapy but do not have the associated side effects on the normal cells of the body this is because normal cells do not carry mutated cancer genes and therefore are not targeted by this new generation of anti-cancer therapies.

What tests are required for a targeted therapy approach?

The use of targeted therapies is critically dependent on a comprehnsive DNA profiling test performed on the pancreatic tumour biopsy. This allows the detection of mutated cancer genes and thereby the identification of the corresponding linked targeted therapies that have been designed against these mutations.

Immunotherapies harness the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer.

Know more about Immunotherapy at this link

Benefits of DNA profiling and targeted therapies for
Pancreatic Cancer

The starting point to identify these powerful new therapeutic opportunities is by comprehensive genetic profiling. Without cancer genetic profiling these new therapeutic opportunities will remain unidentified for patients with pancreatic cancer.

working days for genetic profiling

tested genes

associated Targeted Therapies

updated every 12 weeks

The Oncofocus Test is a clinically validated test accredited by CLIA and by UKAS for ISO15189:2012 and detects thousands of genetic variants across the most clinically relevant cancer driver genes.
Oncofocus currently targets hundreds of genes and detects actionable genetic mutations linked to hundreds of anti-cancer targeted therapy combinations. The test is dynamic with DNA mutations and linked therapy databases updated every 3 months to reflect changes in drug approval status and progress of clinical trials worldwide.

Immunofocus Test is carried out in parallel to ensure all potential treatment options are captured including suitability for immunotherapy.

How does a targeted therapy exactly work?

Targeted therapies represent the new era of powerful anti-cancer drugs that kill cancer cells but do not affect normal cells. Targeted cancer therapies are the cornerstone of personalised medicine, a form of medicine that uses information about a person’s DNA tumour profile to treat cancer.

The targeted agents have been specifically designed against the different types of DNA mutations in cancer cells that cause these cells to divide uncontrollably. The identification of these mutations and the linked therapeutic opportunities is critically dependent on comprehensive genetic profiling of the tumour biopsy sample.

The report generated following testing is a powerful and reliable clinical tool to establish the optimal therapeutic pathway going forward. These genetically guided new anti-cancer agents can help patients live longer and avoid the toxicity associated with chemotherapy. Notably there has been a rapid increase in the numbers of targeted agents available, around 780 at the present time, as more and more DNA mutations are identified.

More to read and watch
on precision oncology

How to get a cancer DNA profiling
full clinical report?


Following request of the Oncofocus test, Oncologica arranges for the transfer of the routine tumour biopsy sample from the treating hospital anywhere in the world to our laboratories in Cambridge. No hospitalisation, new blood samples or biopsies are required.


Genetic profiling enables our scientists and doctors to link the tumour sample to over 780 of the modern anti-cancer targeted therapies which results in a much higher probability of successful treatment. The full clinical report is sent to the patient and treating clinician. The test can be requested by the clinician or independently by the patient. Requesting the test does not influence ongoing treatments but identifies new treatment options going forward should conventional treatment protocols prove inadequate.


Furthermore, presenting the report to the oncologist provides them with useful and detailed information about the clinical picture underlying the disease. Understanding the enemy in detail empowers the oncologist and patient with the knowledge to defeat it.

Get a free consultancy on precision oncology

Get in touch with our clinical team to learn about the benefits of precision oncology.

    If you want you can provide further details about the clinical case by replying to the email that our clinical team will send you.

    The information transmitted is used exclusively to process your request. By submitting this form you accept the terms and conditions including our Privacy Policy. At any time you can ask for your personal data to be deleted and removed.

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Accept Privacy Policy

    Note to patients: All contents on this page are for informational purposes. Decisions regarding medical treatments and diagnoses must always be made in consultation with your treating clinician.

    Oncologica® is a leading precision oncology certified laboratory based in the prestigious Chesterford Research Park, Cambridge, UK.

    Since 2015 we have been helping oncologists and patients every day to get the maximum benefit from new advanced genetic profiling techniques for the treatment of cancer.

    Oncologica® UK ltd.
    Suite 15-16 The Science Village, Chesterford Research Park, Little Chesterford, Cambridge, CB10 1XL
    +44 (0) 1223 785327