Pancreatic cancer is not one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers, but it is one of the most lethal due to its early local extension and metastatic behaviour. Some of the reasons for this high fatality rate are the aggressiveness of the disease, its late diagnosis, especially since symptoms are unspecific and appear rather late, and the available limited therapeutic options.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are silent and often appear in the late stages of the disease, when tumours usually cannot be removed through surgery. Therefore, there is an urgent need for non-invasive, sensible and specific affordable tests that are able to detect the disease early, even at the stage of a precancerous lesion, and improve patient survival.
Such late detection restricts treatment options and contributes to a dismal 5-year survival rate of 3–15%. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is relatively uncommon and screening of individuals in high-risk groups is recommended.
Researchers point out that there is the need to diagnose the disease at a much earlier stage, before symptoms appear. To do this, it is necessary to identify and define the population at risk and have good screening tests to detect cancer when it is still curable.
The need for prompt diagnosis is recognised globally, and a shift toward early detection has been recommended by several healthcare organisations.
Pancreatic Cancer Europe will contribute to the ongoing discussion on early detection of pancreatic cancer by bringing together experts and patient organisations from all over Europe to share their experiences on existing screening models and future perspectives.
Maria Luisa Pagano, PCE Moderator: Opening
MEP Tomislav Sokol, EU Parliamentary Intergroup Challenge Cancer: Welcome message
Nuria Malats, PCE Board of Directors: Keynote speech on Complexity and updates on the last tendencies of pancreatic cancer early detection
Panel discussion: Screening possibilities and approaches to early detection
o Patrycja Rzadkowska, PCE member of Patients Advisory Committee at ECO, Poland
o Klaus Pantel, Centre for Experimental Medicine, Institute of Tumour Biology, Hamburg, Germany
o Gabry Kuijten, My Cancer Navigator, The Anticancer Fund, Brussels, Belgium
o Antonella Cardone, Cancer Patients Europe, Brussels, Belgium
o Tit Albreht, Head of the Centre for Health Care, National Institute of Public Health, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Matthias Schuppe, DG SANTE, Cancer, health in all policies: Keynote speech on Cancer screening and early detection addressed in the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan
Alfredo Carrato, PCE Board of Directors: Conclusions and final remarks
Closing of the event