McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member David Whitcomb, M.D., Ph.D. (pictured), professor of medicine, cell biology, physiology, and human genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and more than 100 physicians and scientists from around the country discussed the latest findings in pancreatic research at PancreasFest 2008 at the Hillman Cancer Center.
Topics covered at the event included the challenges of determining whom to screen for pancreatic cancer, new therapeutic approaches for treating pancreatic cancer, how to manage complications after pancreas surgery, and the current status and utility of biomarkers. PancreasFest created an environment that encouraged multi-center collaborations and assisted junior researchers in developing an academic career in pancreatic disease.
“In many ways, the pancreas is still a mystery,” said Dr. Whitcomb. “Although we’ve made a lot of progress in understanding the pancreas, especially in terms of its genetic relationships, we have a long way to go. Because diseases like chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer strike a very small percentage of the population, it’s necessary to collaborate with researchers from other institutes to build up patient registry for research studies and clinical trials that will help us to advance our knowledge and patient care.”
This year, for the first time, the event included a continuing medical education credit component for physicians, expanding the scope of the event to include patient care issues.
Dr. Whitcomb is also the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, as well as the founder and Director of the Center for Genomic Sciences.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Media Relations (07/16/08)
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute News and Events (07/16/08)