“Treating the pancreas is one of the dark arts,” says Associate Professor Andrew Metz, Director of the Jreissati Family Pancreatic Centre at Epworth.
“Many don’t know where the pancreas is or what it does.
“If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there can be a poor survival rate of 10% after five years, often due to late diagnosis following very vague symptoms.
“The management of pancreatic cancer is very complex, involving many specialties, including gastroenterologist, surgeon, oncologist, endocrinologist and radiologist and it can be a bewildering journey for patients and their families.”
After some delays due to the pandemic, we were finally able to formally launch the Jreissati Family Pancreatic Centre at Epworth with a celebratory dinner.
With the ambitious aim of improving treatment options and outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer, A/Prof Metz says leading the centre is a “once in a lifetime career opportunity.”
“We opened this centre a year ago with a blank slate and we are addressing unmet needs. Comprehensive information was lacking so we have built a website epworth.org.au/jreissaticentre with important clinical information and details of over 20 research studies in progress already.
“Our aim is to ensure coordinated care. People can call our triage nurse and she will direct patients to the right specialists or doctors within 72 hours.
“Pancreatic cancer is the third largest cancer killer. We know other cancers have seen dramatic improvements in survival after dedicated funding and research. It makes a very real difference,” A/Prof Metz said.
Research and treatment at the Jreissati Family Pancreatic Centre at Epworth have been given a $10M boost. In 2022, the Federal government provided $5M funding, matched by the Victorian State government of an additional $5M.
If you need help, talk to our pancreatic nurse coordinator on 03 9426 8880 or email [email protected]