In recent news scientists have claimed extraordinary success with using a patient’s immune cells to target a type of blood cancer. In one study the vast majority of participants with a specific type of leukaemia saw all symptoms vanish completely. This is quite a new area of research and has some researchers describing it as the holy grail of cancer research. While using a person’s own immune system to fight a cancer has shown great early promise in blood cancers, solid tumour cancers will be more difficult but are still a promising area of research.
Back in 2012, the Cancer Institute of NSW released an important study that showed for Pancreatic Cancer patients undergoing surgery, there was a two-fold difference in survival rates between hospitals that do the surgery a lot (6 or more operations a year) versus those that do it rarely (less than 6 a year). Yesterday I had a meeting with David Currow, the CEO of the Cancer Institute of NSW and Chief Cancer Officer of NSW, to receive an update on this work.