Combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer
July 20, 2017
Thanks to everyone who had a chance to look at last week’s blog. This week I will share with you a little bit more about my everyday work, and discuss an exciting new clinical trial now underway for pancreatic cancer.
One of the fulfilling aspects of working as a clinician-researcher is that every day is different. Several days of the week I spend in the oncology clinic at BC Cancer. We have a great clinical team, including a nurse practitioner, family doctor specializing in oncology, and multiple medical trainees including medical students, residents, and medical oncology fellows. In addition, the broader clinical group includes nurses, clerks, care aids, and pharmacists, so it really is a multidisciplinary team working together.
The days I’m not in the clinic I spend working on research projects. This also involves a lot of teamwork, with our research group at BC Cancer and Pancreas Centre BC consisting of scientists, grad students, lab technicians, and other clinicians. We spend a lot of our time meeting together to discuss updates in various projects, and plan next steps. In addition, we are busy analyzing the results of our projects, writing them up for presentations and publications in medical journals, and applying for grants for research funding.
One of the major focuses of our research group is in the development of new drugs to treat pancreatic cancer, and the major way of testing new drugs in the clinic is through clinical trials.
There are multiple clinical trials currently open at BC Cancer. One trial specific to pancreatic cancer is the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), PA.7 trial. This Canadian led study is testing whether immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy is more effective then chemotherapy alone as a treatment for advanced cancer. This is an example of the teamwork needed across multiple centers in Canada for clinical research.
I enjoy working in teams, and I’m very lucky to be part of a great clinical and research team at BC Cancer, and a broader team across Canada, all committed to improving the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Next week, I’ll discuss with you the role of philanthropy in fueling these advancements, particularly the Glotman-Simpson Cypress Challenge, which takes place Aug. 13.
Thanks for reading,