Specialist will support pancreatic cancer patients

People with one of the toughest forms of cancer are to benefit from a new dedicated clinical nurse specialist.

Kimberley Booth has taken up her new post at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, thanks to collaboration between Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

In this innovative role, Kimberley will combine work with the Pancreatic Team at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the work of Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and support the groundbreaking “Precision-Panc” Research Project.

There are around 800 new cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosis a year in Scotland and 784 deaths were recorded in 2016.

Survival 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 five years.

Kimberley said: ‘I’m very excited about this new post and I look forward to working with the existing CNS 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 PCS and the Precision-Panc study.’

Precision-Panc is a UK wide stratified medicine project being led from Glasgow. It involves a large network of collaboration between clinicians, scientists and various other experts with key industry partnerships supporting the multi million pound programme of research, which is mainly funded by Cancer Research UK.

The overall aim of the Precision-Panc project is to speed up scientific discovery in order to improve survival rates of patients with pancreatic cancer.

NHSGGC was the first to open recruitment of patients to the Precision-Panc trials in November 2017 and this next development provides extra resource to support the understanding of clinical trials available in Scotland amongst patients and their families.

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.

There is a number of clinical trials on the Precision-Panc platform and the aim is that people with pancreatic cancer can be matched to the treatment most likely to work for their type of cancer – this is known as precision medicine.

Precision medicine – sometimes called personalised medicine, is a developing area for many health conditions and Precision-Panc is looking at using this approach for pancreatic cancer, so we can be more precise in treating the disease.

Pancreatic Cancer Scotland’s development manager Fiona Brown, said: ‘With pancreatic cancer survival rates having barely improved in nearly five decades, 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 the supporters of our charity, 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.’

David Chang, a surgeon scientist from University of Glasgow and a pancreatic surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, who co-leads Precision Panc, added: ‘We are extremely excited about the Precision-Panc initiative, through it we hope to significantly improve the outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer.

‘We are extremely grateful to the support from Pancreatic Cancer Scotland on the new post, and welcome Kimberley to the pancreatic team at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary to continue the support of patients with pancreatic cancer.’

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

It is predicted that the number of new cases of pancreatic cancer in Scotland is expected to increase by 49.9% by 2027.