A series of films have been launched featuring research nurses talking about how to get involved with current clinical trials testing new treatments for pancreatic cancer.
The range of short films and other tools being launched today are intended to help healthcare professionals “signpost” patients to trials and provide background information where needed.
“These excellent films offer essential information in plain language that help answer so many common question”
The films feature research nurses from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge answering common questions, as well as pancreatic cancer patients describing their experiences to help anyone considering the possibility of trials or wanting to know more.
Pancreatic Cancer UK, the charity behind the new initiatives, which mark International Clinical Trials Day, highlighted that survival rates for the disease “have barely improved for 40 years”.
Latest available Cancer Research UK figures state that the number of deaths from pancreatic cancer per year is 8,662 cases.
But Pancreatic Cancer UK has estimated that the number of will rise to 11,700 by 2030, if survival rates do not improve.
It said better recruitment onto clinical trials and a greater understanding of the disease and how it might be treated was “essential if we are to prevent this bleak outlook from becoming reality”.
In addition to the films, the charity has launched the UK’s first ever clinical “trial finder” for pancreatic cancer patients.
The interactive UK-wide map and database details current clinical trials specifically dedicated to the disease.
It will help “time-pressured healthcare professionals get the information they need quickly and easily to best support their patients”, said the charity.
Susie Zaborszky, a clinical trials research nurse who appears in the films, urged other nurses and any clinicians working in the field to signpost patients to the new materials.
She said: “While clinical trials aren’t suitable for all, these excellent films offer essential information in plain language that help answer so many common questions and help allay common concerns of patients.
Research nurses hope to boost pancreatic cancer trials
“At the same time, Pancreatic Cancer UK’s trial finder will help us as professionals keep up to date more easily and know we are giving patients and families what they need as fast as possible,” she said.
Alex Ford, the charity’s chief executive, added that she hoped the tools would aid healthcare professionals “to give patients the best support they possibly can”.
“So often people with pancreatic cancer and their families have told us how difficult it can be to find out about clinical trials and options that may be out there, when they are already coping with a great deal of stress and anxiety,” she said.