The Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG), in collaboration with the Australasian Pancreatic Club (APC) held a free half-day pancreas cancer research workshop on Monday October 7 from 10am till 2pm.
Approximately 70 scientists, researchers and consumers attended the workshop, which aimed to foster collaboration and develop new research concepts in pancreatic cancer.
On the day, presentations were given by various researchers, including a presentation on the US Research Collaboration experience by Professor Ashok Saluja from the University of Minnesota, and a presentation on tissue acquisition as an essential research resource by Amber Johns from the Garvan Institute.
Jan Mumford, pancreatic cancer survivor and member of the AGITG’s Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) also presented a consumer perspective on Australian research priorities.
Delegates were invited to present new concepts for feedback and discussion at the workshop, with the aim of furthering their development into collaborative research projects.
The day finished with a panel discussion.
“It was a really great first attempt at getting people from these two groups together, and as organisers we were delighted with the attendance from both groups,” said Dr Louise Chantrill, co-chair of the workshop and a member of both the AGITG and the APC.
“Most of the people in Australia who are working on pancreatic cancer were there — we had surgeons, oncologists, scientists and consumers.”
Dr Chantrill was particularly pleased with the consumer involvement, and actively sought consumer contributions for the workshop, as she believes it is extremely important to engage consumers in research.
“It’s often hard to involve consumers, because sadly there are very few survivors from this disease,” she said. “However the number of survivors is increasing, so it would be really nice to get them more involved in research discussions.”
“Research only works from their generosity in giving tissue and data, so we’re very eager to hear from people with pancreas cancer or pancreas cancer survivors about how they think research could be done.”
Dr Chantrill hopes this workshop will have set the wheels in motion for ongoing increased collaboration between the two groups.