Featured Image: Dr Brian Bird, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Education, University College Cork (UCC) and Consultant Medical Oncologist, Bon Secours Hospital Cork. Professor Eileen O’Reilly, Oncologist, Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Centre, New York. Mr Bas Groot Koerkamp, HPB Surgeon, Erasmus MC, Netherlands. Dr Eva Versteijne, Radiation Oncologist, Amsterdam UMC, Netherlands. Professor Aisling Barry, Chair of Radiation Oncology, University College Cork (UCC) and Consultant Radiation Oncologist Cork University Hospital (CUH).
World leaders and national experts convened at the national Pancreatic Cancer Symposium hosted by Cancer Research @ UCC on Friday, 22 September 2023.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the poorest prognoses of all cancers with fewer than 15% of Irish patients surviving beyond five years. In Ireland, each year approximately 600 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
This collaborative event was organised by Professor Aisling Barry, Inaugural Chair of Radiation Oncology, University College Cork (UCC) and Consultant Oncologist Cork University Hospital (CUH) and Dr Brian Bird, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Education, University College Cork (UCC) and Consultant Medical Oncologist, Bon Secours Hospital Cork.
Professor Barry is an international expert in the management of liver cancers with radiotherapy. She is currently establishing a database of pancreatic, liver and bile duct cancers treated in Cork. Dr Bird is local lead for a trial of an exciting new chemotherapy drug for previously untreated metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Studies show Cork City and Kerry have one of the highest incidence rates of pancreatic cancer in the country. Recent studies suggest pancreatic cancer will be the second most common cause of cancer related death by 2040. Currently fewer than 15% of Irish patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive beyond 5 years.
The two national centres that specialise in pancreatic cancer in Ireland are St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, and Mercy University Hospital/Cork University Hospital. Experts from both Irish centres took part in last week’s symposium.
National and international speakers attended with the aim of building collaborations between centres in Ireland and beyond. The programme included a morning session which focused on the patient perspective, diagnosis and multi-disciplinary management of pancreatic cancer and an afternoon session discussing interesting cases with a panel of experts and future directions of care.
Among those who spoke on the day were:
Ms Pamela Deasy, a pancreatic cancer survivor and a Masters Student at UCC spoke about her cancer and her successful treatment at Bon Secours Cork and MUH/CUH, exemplifying the cooperative approach between Cork hospitals treating this challenging condition.
Professor Eileen O’Reilly, a Trinity graduate based in New York and one of the leading international specialists in this disease shared her work including mentoring Irish medical oncologists during their training. Prof. O’Reilly is also heavily involved in trials of new drugs across the USA.
Leading Radiation Oncologist, Dr Eva Versteijne and HPB Surgeon Mr. Bas Groot Koerkamp, spoke about state of the art care and their practice changing studies. Both lead clinical trials that help define modern treatment for this condition.
Professor Grainne O’Kane, St James’s Hospital Dublin, spoke about the genetics of pancreatic cancer.
Dr Risteard O’Laoide, Director of the National Cancer Control Program, Professor Seamus O’Reilly of Clinical Trials Ireland and the Pat Smullen Fund and Dr Frances Drummond of Breakthrough Cancer Research shared their expertise.
This biannual event will next take place in 2025 when it is expected new treatments and clinical trials will be made available to Irish patients.
Miss Sasna Saji Thomas, Cancer Research @UCC, Dr Laia Raigal, Cancer Research @UCC, Ms Claire Forde, Cancer Research @UCC and Professor Aisling Barry Chair of Radiation Oncology, University College Cork (UCC) and Consultant Oncologist Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Original article: https://www.ucc.ie/en/med-health/news/ucc-hosts-pancreatic-cancer-symposium.htm