Two key streams of work emerged from the workshop and subsequent meetings. These areas of focus were highlighted as those with great opportunity to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients. The key areas of focus are:
- Basic Research
Underpinning these two streams will be an integrated network that can ensure research and clinical communities are aligned.
A leadership team has been formed to drive key streams of work and deliverables, and to liaise with relevant subject matter experts for required data / information. Some of the specific areas to be addressed:
- Unacceptable variations in care depending on where a patient goes for treatment. A platform for delivery of best practice needs to be developed across the entire clinical environment.
- Two-fold difference between high volume and low volume surgical centres for Pancreatic Cancer surgery.
- Collaborative testing of research questions across research institutes to get answers quicker.
Proposed key actions:
- Implement a voluntary set of auditable ‘Minimum Standards’ that hospitals sign up to, demonstrating they subscribe to a stated objective.
- Increase participation in clinical trials - Develop a process to facilitate systematic recruitment to clinical trials so that every patient who enters a multi-disciplinary centre has the opportunity to enter into a trial.
- Broaden research methods / testing - Use of different animal models with parallel testing enabling quicker turnaround.
- Biobank – include tumour samples - resected (ie operate on) and metastatic (ie spread throughout body and not operable) and Stroma.
Proposals that align with these streams and action items are being prepared by the research community and will be presented to Avner’s Foundation for consideration and review.