Drug trials offer hope on cancer
Two clinical drug trials are under way to try to find life-saving treatments for pancreatic cancer.
The cancer is more resistant to treatment than other forms of the disease and only one chemotherapy drug can be used to fight it.
One of the trials being run by Leicester's hospitals will test whether adding a new drug to chemotherapy helps in a patient's treatment.
It is being carried out in conjunction with experts in Cambridge.
The other trial, involving 25 people and due to finish shortly, has been testing whether a drug with a fish oil derivative has an effect.
Professor Will Steward, head of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine at the University of Leicester and one of the doctors involved in the trials, said: "We are pleased with the results so far.
"After analysing them, we hope to go on and expand the trial.
"These won't provide a cure but will help in the development of new approaches."
Survival rates average four to six months from diagnosis, according to the national charity Pancreatic Cancer UK.
The disease claims about nine lives a month in Leicestershire.
Prof Steward said: "Pancreatic cancer is a dreadful cancer.
"The cancerous cells don't die with chemotherapy in the same way as others.
"The amount of research funding is disproportionately low, partly, I think, because people don't quite know what to do to tackle it."
Amanda Baird, of Glen Parva, is determined to make people more aware of the disease.
It is almost a year to the day since she had an operation to remove a tumour.
She was diagnosed in September last year, when she was 39.
Amanda said: "I had a few silly symptoms like loss of appetite, feeling full after I had eaten and some weight loss."
She had surgery on December 3, followed by six months of chemotherapy.
Friend Radenka Vranjes, from Clarendon Park, Leicester, urged people to back Pancreatic Cancer UK's campaign to get people to wear purple to raise awareness.
She said: "It was a shock when Amanda was diagnosed. We must get more funding and more support to save lives."