Pancreatic Cancer is usually detected at late stages and most patients die within one year after diagnosis (Michl et al. 2021).

In PANCAID, we will therefore develop a blood test for early detection of Pancreatic cancer. Despite tremendous technological advances in Liquid Biopsy Diagnostics (LBx) (Alix-Panabières & Pantel 2021; Löhr & Pantel 2023), this goal is very ambitious because small tumors release only minute amounts of cells or cellular products (e.g. DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites) into the circulation.

Thus, tests with a high sensitivity are required but increases in sensitivity are usually achieved on the expenses of reduced specificity which can lead to significant overdiagnosis leading to unnecessary stress for the individuals with a false-positive blood test and high costs for health systems. In PANCAID, we will therefore establish a blood test with high accuracy by analyzing large cohorts of patients with pancreatic cancer and its precursor lesions, individuals at risk to develop pancreatic cancer and appropriate age-matched control groups.

Project duration

5 years

Grant amount

9,8 million €
(9,838,840.00 €)


16 partners
+ 1 associated partner from 8 countries

Project start

1st January 2023

The main objective of PANCAID is to provide a minimally invasive blood test using a comprehensive panel of liquid biopsy diagnostics (LBx) for early detection of pancreatic cancer and the malignant conversion of premalignant to invasive lesions.

To achieve this key aim, PANCAID will stepwise address the following specific objectives:

Accumulate the critical size of data sets and biobanks of blood samples from individuals at risk, patients with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia and patients with early pancreatic cancer managed at EU-wide clinical centers of excellence as prerequisite for the subsequent analytical steps.
Perform a comprehensive LBx approach including the most relevant analytes currently available such as circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), exosomes, circulating tumour cells and host cells as well as circulating proteins and metabolites.
Combine the results from all of these individual analytes into a multi-marker panel by computational combinatorial analysis including artificial intelligence (AI) approaches, and finally validate the multi-marker panel on independent cohorts of patients and individuals at risk.
Support the implementation of the blood test into medical practice by defining the target population for such a blood test from a socio-economic and ethical perspective.
Design the protocol of a prospective multi-center study in Europe aimed to demonstrate clinical utility of LBx diagnostics in the management of individuals at high risk to develop pancreatic cancer.
  • Scientific:The PANCAID project will lead not only to a possible new composite biomarker test for future clinical use but will also contribute to new breakthrough scientific discoveries on the biology of pancreatic cancer development.
  • Technological:A new composite biomarker blood test for early detection of pancreatic cancer
  • Medical: High-impact consortium tackling the challenge of early detection and improved treatment of pancreatic cancer from various sites; nucleus for prospective clinical trials
  • Societal: Potential to facilitate the implementation of early detection into the primary care practice, reduce mortality, and improve the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) for patients with pancreatic cancer.

    PANCAID could also have an impact on the way how pancreatic cancer is treated. Delayed detection often leads to treatments with a stronger focus on palliative care. Early detection may open possibilities for curative measures.

    • Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
      Hamburg, Germany
    • Karolinska Institutet
      Stockholm, Sweden
    • Fundación del Sector Público Estatal Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas Carlos III
      Madrid, Spain
    • Medizinische Universität Graz
      Graz, Austria
    • Umeå Universitet
      Umeå, Sweden
    • Pancreatic Cancer Europe ASBL
      Brussels, Belgium
    • concentris research management
      Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
    • Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein
      Kiel, Germany
    • Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Montpellier
      Montpellier, France
    • Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
      Heidelberg, Germany
    • Uppsala Universitet
      Uppsala, Sweden
    • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Jerusalem, Israel
    • Collective Minds Radiology AB
      Taby, Sweden
    • Maccabi Sheirutei Briut Foundation
      Tel Aviv, Israel
    • La Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal
      Madrid, Spain
    • The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of The University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • Zava Deutschland GmbH
      Hamburg, Germany


    Prof. Klaus Pantel
    University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf
    Institute of Tumor Biology
    20246 Hamburg, Germany


    Prof. Matthias Löhr
    Karolinska Institutet
    Depart. of Clinical Science Intervention and Technology CLINTEC
    14186 Stockholm, Sweden

    Project management

    concentris research management gmbh (concentris)
    82256 Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
    Phone: +49 (0)8141 6252 8570
    Email: info[at]