29.11.2013 – 12:18
The First Pancreatic Cancer Forum Unites Experts in the Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer
- Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the EU and kills 95% of people affected - Experts from around the world are meeting in Madrid as new discoveries lead to new hope
Experts in pancreatic cancer from around the world are meeting in Madrid today with new hope that real advances are within reach. Pancreatic cancer currently has one of the bleakest prognoses of any cancer, killing 95% of people diagnosed with the condition.
Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the EU for men and women. In fact, the pancreas is the only major cancer site for which no improvements in mortality rates is predicated for either sex. There have been no new treatments approved for pancreatic cancer in nearly seven years. Death rates from the disease are predicted to rise from 7.85 in 2009 to 8.01 in 2013 per 100,000 among men, and from 5.33 to 5.54 per 100,000 among women in same period.
The inauguration of the first Pancreatic Cancer Forum is a strong sign that things are changing for the better. Barriers to progress regarding clinical and scientific advances are rapidly being overcome, and there is a renewed belief that a new wave of treatments and strategies may soon revolutionise prospects for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"Pancreatic cancer is now one of the most rapidly moving areas in oncology. We've recently made huge leaps in our understanding and are starting to see the benefits," said Dr Manuel Hidalgo, Head of Gastrointestinal Cancer at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid and co-chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Forum. "This meeting is an important opportunity for some of the leading international experts in the field to come together to share research and identify our best chances to make a breakthrough. Our goal is to define strategies that will lead to an improvement in the survival of patients with this disease."
"Advances in science are often a result of people from different disciplines sharing their expertise and discussing new ways of tackling problems," said Dr Alfredo Carrato, Director of the Medical Oncology Department at Ramón y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid and co-chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Forum. "I am very excited to welcome my colleagues to Madrid in the knowledge that people with pancreatic cancer across the world may be affected by the discussions we have and the research that is being presented."
The Pancreatic Cancer Forum is being hosted by the CIOCC (Centro Intregral Oncológico Clara Campal) and supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The meeting is also being supported by an educational grant from Celgene International Sárl.
For years, management of pancreatic cancer has struggled to mirror the success seen with other cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. The first Pancreatic Cancer Forum will cover all aspects of the condition (from its origins and genetics to identifying the high-risk population to be screened for pancreatic cancer, to current treatments, new treatment strategies, better designs of clinical trials and even the prospect of personalised medicine), in the hope that people with pancreatic cancer will have a better future than is possible today.
For more information on the Pancreatic Cancer Forum please visit http://www.pancreatic-cancer-forum.com.
About pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death in the EU for men and women, causing 73,000 deaths in 2009. One of the most highly fatal cancers, over 95% of people with pancreatic cancer will die of the condition. This high mortality rate is due to the fact that in many people the cancer has already spread around the body by the time they receive a diagnosis. People with pancreatic cancer may experience weight loss, pain and jaundice prior to receiving a diagnosis. There is currently no cure for pancreatic cancer.
1. Cascinu S, Falconi M, Valentini V, Jelic S on behalf of the ESMO Guidelines Working Group. Clinical Practice Guidelines. Pancreatic cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology 21 (Supplement 5): v55-v58, 2010
2. Malvezzi M et al. European cancer mortality predictions for the year 2013 Annals of Oncology 2013, 1-9
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