Posted on 30th September 2020 by Bethan Warman

London Pancreas Workshop 2020

On 11th September 2020, Professors Hemant Kocher and Nick Lemoine hosted the eighth London Pancreas Workshop (LPW) - a forum for state-of-the-art clinical and basic research in pancreatic cancer. In a first for the biennial event, this year’s LPW took place online with pre-recorded speaker presentations and live, interactive Q&A sessions. The event received over 200 registrations, attracting delegates from across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

London Pancreas Workshop 2020
Professors Nick Lemoine and Hemant Kocher welcoming delegates at this year's LPW.

Professor Kocher said:

“The data presented at the LPW 2020 are an exciting evolution of work presented in previous editions, slowly but surely making its way into clinical trials, thus benefitting patients suffering from pancreatic cancer. We are grateful to our supporters for standing by LPW despite tough economic conditions.”

With an impressive line-up of invited speakers renowned in their fields, the day was filled with exciting scientific discussions, focused on the themes of diagnostics, clinical trials and targeting pancreatic cancer in the laboratory.

Maggie Blanks, Founder and CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, one of the sponsors of the event said:

“The London Pancreas Workshop is an important date in the diary of the pancreatic cancer research community and we’re proud to be sponsors. We consider it to be an enormously valuable event - not just for established researchers, but also early career researchers and students too - to learn about new research ideas, technologies and progress in the field.”

Sessions

The first session of presentations was about diagnostics for pancreatic cancer; we heard about initiatives currently underway aimed at improving early detection in pancreatic cancer. Professor Stephen Pereira from University College London spoke about the ADEPTS clinical trial as part of the Early Diagnosis Research Alliance, which  aims to develop new tests to diagnose pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours at an early stage. We also heard from Barts Cancer Institute’s Professor Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic about the UroPanc study, which is investigating the use of a test that can detect biomarkers of early stage pancreatic cancer in urine.

As part of the second session on clinical trials, we heard from Professor Kocher about the STARPAC trial, the results of which have been recently published in Nature Communications. The phase I trial found that re-purposing a type of vitamin A (ATRA) as a stromal-targeting agent with gemcitabine-nab-paclitaxel is safe and tolerable in patients with pancreatic cancer.

London Pancreas Workshop 2020
Professor Mariano Barbacid during the Paget Lecture Q&A session.

In the third session, we learnt about research currently being undertaken in the laboratory that is looking at new ways to target pancreatic cancer.

The final session of the day was the Paget Lecture, which was delivered by Professor Mariano Barbacid from the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). Professor Barbacid’s lecture was about his team’s work on targeting KRAS signalling in preclinical models of pancreatic cancer.

Chris Macdonald, Head of Research at Pancreatic Cancer UK, one of the sponsors of the LPW, said:

“It was a pleasure to be able to support this year’s London Pancreas Workshop. Although difficult to run events like this in a COVID world, it was great to be able to all come together as a community during the Q&A sessions over Zoom, as well as hear about some of the fascinating research in pancreatic cancer currently going on not only in the UK but parts of Europe, the US and Canada. Thank you to all who were involved, we look forward to attending the next event.”

Congratulations to the abstract winners

For the virtual abstract session, 11 abstracts were selected for presentation. These were split into the themes of ‘Biomarkers & Clinical’ and ‘Biology & Models’ and each abstract presentation was marked by a judging panel. Congratulations to the below delegates for winning this year’s LPW abstract awards:

  • Abigail Coetzee, Barts Cancer Institute - Targeting FGFR signalling to disrupt cellular cross-talk in pancreatic cancer
  • Priyanka Gupta, University of Surrey - On the development of a bioinspired, biomimetic pancreatic cancer model: Engineering a hybrid scaffold assisted in vitro multicellular model of pancreatic cancer
  • Sarah Courtois, IIS Aragón - Role of mitochondrial dynamics in pancreatic cancer stem cells
  • Beatriz Parejo-Alonso, IIS Aragón - Differential activation patterns of receptor tyrosine kinases: Novel potential targets in the pancreatic cancer stem cell niche
  • Pilar Espiau-Romera, IIS Aragón - Molecular and Metabolic subtypes for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Classification

Thank you to all of the sponsors, organisers, speakers and delegates who helped make #2020LPW a great success.


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