ADEPTS: Accelerated Diagnosis in neuroEndocrine and Pancreatic TumourS.”


ADEPTS: Accelerated Diagnosis in neuroEndocrine and Pancreatic TumourS.

What is the aim of the study and why is it important?

Pancreatic cancer is the 11th most common cancer in the UK. Diagnoses are often made late when the cancer is advanced. Less than 20% of patients are suitable for surgery and 84% of patients are likely to have died within a year of diagnosis giving the worst survival rate for any cancer. However better survival is more likely if patients present at an early stage. There are only a few established risk factors for pancreatic cancer such as age, smoking, genetic factors, chronic pancreatitis and alcohol. It is unlikely that there will be a national screening programme for pancreatic cancer since there are few established risk factors and currently no reliable screening test. Hence, it is likely that most pancreatic cancers will be diagnosed in symptomatic patients presenting to primary care. The challenge then becomes enabling earlier diagnosis to help improve treatment options (eg possibility of surgery) and prognosis. Earlier diagnosis could be helped by increased public awareness of symptoms which might indicate pancreatic cancer such as weight loss, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. It could also be improved by more prompt investigation of symptomatic patients presenting to their GP. In the UK, GPs will soon have better direct access to diagnostic investigations such as ultrasound, CT scanning and MRI. GPs need better assessment tools to quantify a patients risk of different types of cancer so that the right patients are sent for the right investigations making efficient use of, scarce resources. The aim of this study is to identify and quantify ‘red flag’ symptoms associated with a diagnosis of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours and compare these with the symptoms associated with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. The research will inform the evidence base for the refinement of the QCancer tools which have been integrated into GP systems in order to improve the early recognition of PNETS.

Chief Investigator

Steve Pereira

Location of research

Oxford and London

Date on which research approved


Project reference ID


Are all data accessed are in anonymised form?


Brief summary of the dataset to be released (including any sensitive data)

GP data linked to hospital, mortality and cancer registry data for pancreatic tumours. Data will include tumour characteristics (type, stage, grade), risk factors and symptoms which might indicate a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

Funding Source

Pancreatic Cancer UK

Research Team

Steve Pereira, Julia Hippisley-Cox, Peter Labib, Carol Coupland

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