Friday 5th June saw the Pancreatic Cancer UK hepatobiliary and pancreatic study day for health care professionals at Cancer Research UK, Addenbrookes, Cambridge.
With over a hundred delegates registered from a wide variety of trusts and organisations and a great line up of speakers presenting it proved to be a hugely successful day and feedback from those in attendance was really positive!
- An excellent overview of the pancreatic cancer patient pathway from Lena Loia, explaining what a pathway is, what an HPB team does and an introduction to the Addenbrookes team. Plus, bringing in a personal story of a patient that gave it a human perspective.
- A comprehensive summary of cholangiography by Dr See, which provided a fantastic explanation both of the procedure and stenting.
- Dr Nick Carroll discussed the function of endoscopic ultrasound and the diverse role it can play in diagnostics. Novel therapies may also stem from this, including Endoscopic Ultrasound guided nerve blocks and tumour ablation to help provide symptom relief.
- Mr Raaj Praseedom gave an insight into the surgery for pancreatic cancer and the issues and complications that this can bring.
- Dieticians Elizabeth Bradley and Claire Holgate defined cachexia, malnutrition and sarcopenia and informed us on the consequences of these conditions. They also discussed how to optimise nutrition with the importance of early intervention of therapies and approaches aimed at maintaining a healthy weight.
- Laura McGeeney talked of the role of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy in pancreatic cancer. Comments from the audience seemed to suggest that this is an area that still causes confusion to patients and clinicians alike and that greater awareness is needed.
Our own Anna Jewell talked about the fantastic work Pancreatic Cancer UK is doing and the day over all proved a great opportunity to showcase our publications, fact sheets and fundraising opportunities. A fantastic outcome of the day: those delegates who said they were not originally aware of our own information and literature also said they would definitely be using them in the future. An excellent response for patients and future diagnosed patients.
Later on in the day, Consultant and associate lecturer medical oncology at Addenbrookes, Dr Pippa Corrie, gave an update and overview on the clinical trials that are and have taken place including MPACT, SEIGE, SCALOP, SCALOP II and PRICKLE with a rally cry "for more patients to be referred for clinical trials". She summarised by saying that combination therapies have been shown in recent studies to offer gains over Gemcitabine alone although this can be limited by the associated toxicity of these regimens. She concluded with the view that individualised therapies may not be far away and that an increasing knowledge in genetics is opening up new avenues of treatment.
Finally a talk by John Lancaster on he and his late wife's experience of pancreatic cancer gave clarity and meaning as to the reason why we were all there.
A nice touch was the opportunity to use post it notes to ask questions to the speakers at the end of the day and the whole programme was amiably guided by Mr Jah.
It only leaves us to say, on behalf of us at Pancreatic Cancer UK, a massive thank you to all those involved in organising the day and all their hard work; to the speakers and the talks they presented and finally to all the delegates who attended, without whom there would be no study day!