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World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2019


On November 21, people around the world united to demand better in the fight against the world’s toughest cancer. The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, consisting of more than 80 organizations from over 30 countries and six continents, raised global awareness and inspired action, bringing greater attention, awareness, and better outcomes to this deadly disease.

Thank you to everyone who participated in World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2019. With your support, we turned the world purple, raising awareness for a disease that desperately needs more attention and progress to help patients fight and survive.

Please mark your calendar and save the date for World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2020 – Thursday, November 19, 2020

Click here to find out more about what happened on WPCD 2019.

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Does Type 2 Diabetes Increase the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer?


Pancreatic cancer is a form of cancer that occurs when cells are produced in the pancreas in an uncontrolled manner. Like all cancers, the earlier a diagnosis is made, then the better the prognosis. Pancreatic can is one of the hardest of cancers to diagnose and has a low 5-year survival rate of around 6-9%.

There have been reports that the onset of diabetes or the worsening of an existing diabetes condition could be a warning sign for pancreatic cancer. Alternatively, diabetes could be a consequence of pancreatic cancer. A recent paper published by a researcher at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University in Ukraine has investigated the role of diabetes in the development of pancreatic cancer.

A chicken and egg situation

The pancreas is a small organ that is part of the digestive system and sits just behind the stomach. It also plays a role in keeping blood sugar levels within acceptable levels by producing insulin. The link between pancreatic cancer and type 2 diabetes has been shown to be there - but researchers have not been able to fully determine the relationship.

When higher levels of insulin are circulating in the blood stream, there is an increased pressure on the pancreas to produce insulin. Some researchers have suggested that this could lead to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Alternatively, some researchers believe that pancreatic cancer may lead to insulin resistance by increasing the quantity of insulin produced in the pancreas and that pancreatic cancer could lead to a reduced ability to produce insulin leading to an increased risk of diabetes.

Both a marker and a risk factor

To investigate the link between type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer, the researchers from the Ukraine studied 42 participants in four groups. A healthy control group, patients with type 2 diabetes, patients with pancreatic cancer but no diabetes and patients with pancreatic cancer and type 2 diabetes. Blood samples were taken and analysed using chromatography among other techniques. The ability of chromatography to process samples efficiently is discussed in the article, Increasing HPLC / UHPLC Sample Throughput: Doing More in Less Time.
The team reported that patients with pancreatic cancer that had a background of type 2 diabetes did not have some of the usual diabetes conditions like obesity, elevated IGF-1 levels and hyperinsulinemia which they conclude leads to conclusion that the patients have secondary diabetes - diabetes caused by another illness, in this case pancreatic cancer. They also state that patients with a new diagnosis of pancreatic cancer should be advised to screen for pancreatic cancer as diabetes can be both a marker and a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

Click here to read the full article sourced from chromatographytoday.com

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Overcoming resistance in pancreatic cancer


In pancreatic cancer cells' struggle to survive, the cells choose alternative routes when their main pathways are blocked by drugs. Researchers recently developed a new cocktail of drugs that shrink pancreatic tumors in mice by blocking both the main and alternative pathways that cancer cells use.

Click here to read the full article sourced from Sciencedaily.com

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Success of ECCAM! The Full Report...


In March 2019 Digestive Cancers Europe launched a campaign to promote colorectal cancer screening at the occasion of the start of European Colon Cancer Awareness Month (ECCAM).

The Campaign has been a huge success and we have the full report breakdown to share with you - Click here to read the 2019 Full Report

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Take the Interactive DiCE Symptom Checker


Digestive Cancers Europe has created an online interactive colorectal cancer symptom checker!

Using a traffic light system to pinpoint warning signs, this tool was created for European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2019.

Click here to use and share the DiCE Symptom Checker.

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Cancer Patients Need Access to the Best Technology


Despite the recent advancements in biomedical technology and treatment therapies, cancer remains one of the leading causes of death world-wide. Patient organisations such as Digestive Cancers Europe want to change that by giving the patients themselves a louder voice in the fight against cancer. BioStock reached out to the Executive Director of the Digestive Cancers Europe, Stefan Gijssels, to ask him about the organisation’s mission and how early-stage products like IndiTreat from 2cureX can contribute to fulfilling that mission.

Read the interview with Stefan Gijssels here.

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DiCE Releases the CRC Screening Roadmap


In parallel to the White Paper on Colorectal Cancer Screening, we also present the Roadmap for Colorectal Cancer Screening. The first document is directed at policy-makers and highlights what needs to change in health policy to save hundreds of thousands of lives, the latter describes in a step-by-step approach how a colorectal cancer screening campaign should be set up. This approach is based on the experience of the three best practices in Europe: the Netherlands, Slovenia and the Basque region in Spain. All three examples have managed to achieve colorectal cancer screening participation rates between 62 and 72%, and at the same time significantly increasing the number of early stage diagnosis, resulting in better overall survival, and even reduction of the incidence (the number of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer), because so many polyps were detected in a pre-cancerous stage. The Basque country demonstrated that colorectal cancer screening is not only cost-effective, but over time even cost-saving.

The three successful screening programmes have some elements in common:

  • Involvement of all stakeholders from the start to create a fully integrated and inclusive plan
  • Learning from other countries to apply best practices and to avoid common mistakes
  • Ambitious, sustained and long term perspective with support of all political parties and solid investments
  • A solid combination of healthcare hardware (operational organisation, laboratories, hospital capacity) and software (psychology, sociology, …)
  • Good integration of databases, registries, analyses and communication
  • Pilot Projects to test the system
  • Training, education and certification
  • Investments in ideal capacity track of testing, colonoscopy and surgery

The best practices also show that the higher the participation rate of the population, the better the cost-effectiveness becomes.

Colorectal cancer is a disease that evolves very slowly, sometimes even as long ten years between colon polyps and a late stage tumour. The problem with colorectal cancer is that the symptoms can only be identified by the patient once the disease is well advanced. If we only rely on patient-reported symptoms, we are too late to offer patients a good chance of survival. That is why screening is so critical. In Europe, only 15% of patients are diagnosed at stage I, when they have a chance of survival of 90% and more. The best practices in our Roadmap demonstrate that they are able to increase to 48% of patients now diagnosed at stage I.

The Roadmap offers an initial blueprint on how to set up a colorectal cancer screening campaign. The best practices exist. There is no reason not to apply them.

Click here to read and download the Colorectal Cancer Roadmap.

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DiCE Releases the CRC Screening White Paper


This year DiCE has released the Colorectal Cancer Screening White Paper.

The White Paper highlights the fact that despite the commitment from all EU Ministers of Health in 2003, only three Member States (France, Ireland and Slovenia) have organised Formal Population-based Colorectal cancer screening programmes addressed to all citizens between 50 and 74 years old. The best outcomes were achieved in the Netherlands (citizens older than 55), Slovenia and the Basque country:

- Increase in early detection from 15% to 48% of the population
- Decrease in colorectal cancer mortality
- Overall cost saving in the healthcare system

If all Member States achieved the same results, the number of citizens detected with early stage cancer could be improved from 55,000 to 185,000, and therefore significantly increasing chances of survival. Every year. Stefan Gijssels, Executive Director comments: “There is no rational reason not to organise formal national screening campaigns. It saves lives and money. The major barrier we see is a political one. It takes a lot of effort and time to organise, and screening campaigns require a sustained effort. The financial savings in the healthcare budget may only be visible ten years after the start, but the upside in the number of lives saved should justify screening. As we have seen, the quality of the screening programme is critical to its success. Luckily, several Member States are starting now to have a more professional approach to screening. We can assist them if needed.”

Click here to read and download the White Paper.

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We Launched ECCAM 2019 in EU Parliament!


On Thursday 28th February 2019 Digestive Cancers Europe launched a campaign to promote colorectal cancer screening at the occasion of the start of European Colon Cancer Awareness Month (ECCAM). The event took place at the European Parliament and was hosted by MEP Lieve Wierinck (ALDE).

Click here to view the PRESS RELEASE

Building on the successful 2018 theme #Time4Change, this year ECCAM will be focusing on making people aware of the benefits of detecting colorectal cancer early by taking the screening test which Digestive Cancers Europe believes may save an additional 130,000 lives every year.

Every year, 370,000 citizens in the European Union get a diagnosis of colorectal cancer and 170,000 of them die. Patients who are detected early (Stage I), have a chance of survival of 90% as compared to only 10% when detected in stage IV. Despite the fact that colorectal cancer evolves slowly, over a period of eight to ten years, the majority of patients are still detected in the late stage III & IV.
This makes the case for early screening an easy one, especially because the treatment of early stage cancer is cheaper than late stage, and over 3 billion euro of savings could be generated in the healthcare system every year.

The campaign consists of three activities:
- #MyBest10Seconds - The launch of a Public Awareness Campaign on the importance of getting screened. This social media campaign focuses on the little effort it takes to get screened and the huge life-saving impact it may have. A video shows other small daily things that take up ten seconds of anybody’s time. In colorectal cancer screening, this little effort may save one’s life.
- A White Paper on Colorectal Cancer Screening in Europe – the paper comes with ten policy recommendations to improve the current situation in the European Union.
- A Roadmap for Colorectal Cancer Screening. The publication offers a step-by-step approach on how to organise colorectal cancer screening campaigns at national level, based on the good results of Slovenia, the Netherlands and the Basque region in Spain.

The Public Awareness Campaign will be launched through social media in Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. The video and social media campaign is addressed at citizens of 50 and older. Ads will appear in news feeds on Facebook and as ‘pre-roll’ on You Tube, aiming to reach over 1 million citizens. National Associations will further amplify the efforts locally.

The official campaign microsite can be found at www.mybest10seconds.com
The official campaign video 'My Best 10 Seconds' can be viewed and shared here.

Jola Gore-Booth, Executive Director comments: “We want to make people aware that they can have control over their own life. Many people are still hesitant to test themselves, yet it’s clear that everybody older than 50 should get screened. The effort is minor, and there are no downsides to it. The testing is easy, as is colonoscopy. There is really no reason to risk one’s life by not participating in screening programmes. Still too many people wait. That’s why our campaign is so important.”

The White Paper highlights the fact that despite the commitment from all EU Ministers of Health in 2003, only three Member States (France, Ireland and Slovenia) have organised Formal Population-based Colorectal cancer screening programmes addressed to all citizens between 50 and 74 years old. The best outcomes were achieved in the Netherlands (citizens older than 55), Slovenia and the Basque country:
- Increase in early detection from 15% to 48% of the population
- Decrease in colorectal cancer mortality
- Overall cost saving in the healthcare system

If all Member States achieved the same results, the number of citizens detected with early stage cancer could be improved from 55,000 to 185,000, and therefore significantly increasing chances of survival. Every year.

Stefan Gijssels, Executive Director comments: “There is no rational reason not to organise formal national screening campaigns. It saves lives and money. The major barrier we see is a political one. It takes a lot of effort and time to organise, and screening campaigns require a sustained effort. The financial savings in the healthcare budget may only be visible ten years after the start, but the upside in the number of lives saved should justify screening. As we have seen, the quality of the screening programme is critical to its success. Luckily, several Member States are starting now to have a more professional approach to screening. We can assist them if needed.”

Digestive Cancers Europe represents 40 National Associations in 30 European countries and is active in the areas of oesophageal, gastric, pancreatic, colon, rectum and rare cancers of the digestive tract. The Organisation collaborates with Pancreatic Cancer Europe.

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Join our ECCAM 2019 Online Campaign!


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!

This year Digestive Cancers Europe have launched a social media campaign across 6 European countries to raise awareness of screening. The screening test only takes 10 seconds to complete and could save your life!
What else could you do in 10 seconds to have such an impact?

Visit the official campaign microsite in your language and find out more www.mybest10seconds.com

Watch and share the official campaign video 'My Best 10 Seconds' here.

Use the official hashtags to share media:
#Mybest10seconds
#ECCAM2019

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Digestive Cancers Europe vzw/asbl
Terrestlaan 30
3090 Overijse
Belgium
Tel: Phone : +44 0)1722 333 587
info@digestivecancers.eu


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