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New support for patients fighting pancreatic cancer

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Pancreatic cancer patients across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are set to benefit from the services of a new dedicated pancreatic cancer clinical nurse specialist. 

As a collaboration between the health board and Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, Kimberley Booth has taken up her new post at Glasgow Royal Infirmary where she will combine work with the hospital’s pancreatic team, the work of Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and support the groundbreaking Precision-Panc Research Project. 

Scotland sees around 800 new cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosis a year and 784 deaths were recorded in 2016. Survival rates at one and five years after diagnosis is the lowest compared to other common cancers: only 17.4% of those diagnosed will survive beyond 12-months and only 3.8% will survive beyond 5 years.

The Precision-Panc project aims to improve survival rates of patients with pancreatic cancer. We were the first health board to recruit patients to the Precision-Panc trials last November and Kimberley’s appointment provides extra resource to support patient and their family understanding of clinical trials in Scotland. 

The project is a UK-wide personalised medicine project being led from Glasgow. It involves a large network of collaboration between clinicians with scientists with key industry partnerships supporting the multi-million pound research, primarily funded by Cancer Research UK. 

It is predicted that the number of new cases of pancreatic cancer in Scotland is expected to increase by 49.9% by 2027. As a result, the research seeks to uncover the molecular profile of individual patients with pancreatic cancer, to learn more about the disease and to pave the way for them to enter clinical trials in a way that matches their tumour biology to the most effective type of treatment. 

Kimberley said: “I’m very excited about this new post and I look forward to working with the existing clinical nurse specialist team. 

“I hope we can improve patients and carers experience when they are at their most vulnerable. It’s a great opportunity to be involved with Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and the Precision-Panc study.” 

David Chang, pancreatic surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, who co-leads Precision Panc, said: I welcome Kimberley to the pancreatic team at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and we are grateful to the support from Pancreatic Cancer Scotland for Kimberley’s appointment. 

“We are extremely excited about the Precision-Panc initiative, through it we hope to significantly improve the outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer.” 

Fiona Brown, development manager, Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, said “Pancreatic cancer survival rates have barely improved in nearly five decades, with survival at one and five years after diagnosis is the lowest compared to other common cancers. 

“It’s time for this to change and we are pleased that Kimberley’s new role will help support patients and families in parallel with research developments. 

“On behalf of Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, I would like to extend special thanks to our supporters, whose incredible fundraising efforts have enabled us to be in a position to support this new post, as we continue to work together to make a difference for patients and families in Scotland.” 

Patients interested in participating in the Precision-Panc project should discuss options with their treating clinicians in the first instance.

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