Pancreatic Cancer Research Given a Boost by the Vietnamese Community | RAH Research Fund
News 31 January 2017

Pancreatic Cancer Research Given a Boost by the Vietnamese Community

We are constantly amazed by the generosity of our community and the local Vietnamese community is no exception. Recently holding a fundraising dinner for research into pancreatic cancer, the group raised an incredible amount of $42,302 for two research projects coordinated by Associate Professor Nam Nguyen, Gastroenterologist at the RAH.

One project this kind donation will support is assessing blood sampling from the liver, guided by a new technique to help detect the early spread of pancreatic cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer remains a deadly disease despite many advances in medicine and cancer care. The cancer biology appears different to the other cancers in the gastrointestinal tract and often has already spread into the blood system at the time of diagnosis, or even in the early stages where the cancer can be removed,” said A/Prof Nguyen.

“We are trying to determine whether the use of blood sampling from the liver, guided by a new technique called endoscopic ultrasound, can help to detect early spreading of cancer cells from pancreatic malignancy. If successful, this technique may guide treating doctors on the best approach in treatment and replace the current conventional imaging such as CT or MRI scans in the assessment of this cancer.”

The second project this donation has made a reality is a “supertrial”, aiming to increase survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

“Our team is the first in Australia to adopt combined chemotherapy with focus radiotherapy to treat advanced pancreatic cancer. The technique requires the cancer to be mapped by gold markers (using endoscopic ultrasound) so that very high doses of focus beam radiation can be delivered to the cancer but not to the adjacent organs, minimising the adverse effects of radiation. The preliminary results of this study are promising and may form the basis for a larger multi-centre trial in Australia.”

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