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Research groups


Daniel Hughes


Clinical Research Training Fellow

Despite several advances in perioperative care, centralization of pancreatic surgery and adjuvant treatment strategies, no paradigm shift has been observed in the overall survival rates for patients with pancreatic cancer. One of the main pathological hallmarks of pancreatic cancer is the dense desmoplastic stroma that occurs during tumorigenesis. The tumour microenvironment consists of a diverse cell population, not limited to cancer cells, pancreatic stellate cells, fibroblasts and a range of stromal components (collagen and laminin). Its presence impairs local drug delivery and renders immunosuppressive effects on the host’s immune system. My research focuses on ex-vivo preservation and re-modelling of the tumour microenvironment. Establishing a platform where pancreatic tumour can be maintained alive in the ex-vivo setting provides a unique opportunity not only to study the tumour microenvironment, but also to evaluate the tumour’s responsiveness to different chemotherapeutic regimes. This would allow a high-throughput drug screen to ensure that patients were commenced on appropriate treatment in the adjuvant setting. Treatment should be dictated by an individual’s tumour biology rather than a set chemotherapy regime for all patients.
I completed my undergraduate medical training at Cardiff University in 2013. I subsequently finished my Academic Foundation Programme training within the Wales Deanery.  I undertook my Core Surgical Training in Bristol (Severn Deanery), during which I was awarded a MSc with Merit from the University of Edinburgh.  I secured a National Training Number in General Surgery in the Thames Valley Deanery in 2017. My clinical interests are the management of both malignant and benign pancreatic disease.  I am currently a Cancer Research UK funded Clinical Research Training Fellow undertaking a DPhil in Oncology.