Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) – Q&A

8th November 2022, 11 - 11.45am, Zoom

When cancer affects the pancreas, it can reduce the number of enzymes it produces to break down food. The body begins to starve – unless pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) is prescribed.

PERT enables food to be digested, building tolerance to treatments - but it’s not just for people having active treatment or surgery.  It also reduces debilitating digestive symptoms and improves quality of patients’ lives. It should be considered for everyone with pancreatic cancer at point of diagnosis.

We know there’s a lot of questions around PERT so we created a Q&A solely to answer your questions on PERT. Our panel covered questions around screening and monitoring, dosing, PERT and feeding, PERT and pancreatic surgery and complications and challenges.

See the recording from the Q&A

What can I expect from this session?

This session was to purely ask your PERT related questions to our panel and hear answers for questions put forward by other health professionals.

If you’re looking to learn more about PERT please look at our PERT hub for health professionals which brings together all the relevant courses, events and information.

Our panel

Anna Burton, Senior Specialist Pancreatic Dietitian, St James’s Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Anna has 25 years experience in clinical dietetics including parenteral nutrition, Newcastle University Medical School nutrition education, critical care, gastroenterology, immunology, paediatrics and burns; initially within the dietetic service provided by Newcastle Nutrition.  

In 2000 Anna joined the dietetic department at St James’s Hospital, Leeds specialising in gastrointestinal surgery and parenteral nutrition.  Pancreatic surgical dietetics won Anna’s heart and she has jointly led the very busy pancreatic dietetic service since 2007 in Leeds. 

Karen Robinson, Advanced Practitioner – Dietitian, HPB, BHSCT

Karen has worked at BHSCT covering a range of specialities since graduating from the University of Ulster, Coleraine with a first class Honours degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 2002.

Since 2012 Karen has worked in the regional hepato-biliary unit and post-covid is based in Belfast City Hospital.

Lauren Roberts, HPB/UGI Lead Oncology Dietitian, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

Lauren works at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool as an Oncology Dietitian. She has worked in oncology for seven years and has specialised in cancers of the pancreas, liver, biliary system and upper gastrointestinal tract for the last six years.

Lauren is passionate about working with people with pancreatic cancer and empowering patients and caregivers to manage PERT effectively, promoting well-being and quality of life

Mary Phillips, Senior Specialist HPB Dietitian, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Mary graduated from the University of Surrey in 2000, and for the last 18 years has been working with the pancreatic surgical team at the Royal Surrey in Guildford. Her main clinical and research interest is in the management of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency and she is currently undertaking her PhD in the long-term consequences of pancreatic resection.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at