Westmead Hospital grant recipient’s research to impact pancreatic cancer patients

Dr Chris Nahm, Co-Lead of the Westmead Hospital Pancreatic Cancer Research Group & Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon was recently named as the recipient of the prestigious Kickstarter Grant for Medical Research, with his topic ‘Biomarker-driven pre-operative staging of patients with resectable pancreatic cancer‘.

The Kickstarter Grant Program offers clinicians the opportunity to research an idea that may improve service and patient outcomes – and what makes these grants particularly special is the support offered to recipients to launch this next part of their careers.

The Pulse spoke with Chris about his research and what this will mean for western Sydney healthcare.

“Pancreas cancer is the third-highest cause of cancer-related death in Australia. Potentially curative surgery can be offered to patients whose cancer has not spread to other parts of the body,” Chris said.

“However, 30% of patients who have this major surgery still only survive less than one year because the cancer comes back very quickly.

“Such patients will have undertaken all the risks of surgery at a cost to their quality of remaining life and without receiving any survival benefit from it. These patients may have lived longer if they were offered a different treatment strategy, such as receiving some chemotherapy before considering surgery.

In this project, we hope to see whether a special test performed on patient’s blood or on biopsy samples can identify patients who would benefit from such a treatment strategy. Through this, we eventually hope to increase the overall survival duration of patients who undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Dr Chris Nahm, Co-Lead of the Westmead Hospital Pancreatic Cancer Research Group & Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon

Chris said he is honoured to receive this grant for his research, and is excited by the prospects of this study.

We are committed to working hard to improving outcomes for patients who suffer this terrible disease.

Dr Chris Nahm, Co-Lead of the Westmead Hospital Pancreatic Cancer Research Group & Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon

See the full list of Kickstarter Grant recipients here.