We have the first European guidelines for minimally invasive pancreatic cancer surgery. Which define the techniques to be used, and how, when and for whom they can be used, in order to improve the treatment of this difficult cancer and the quality of life of patients. To present and discuss them, the major international experts of these techniques will meet today and tomorrow in Brescia, at the Auditorium of the Chamber of Commerce, in an important scientific congress. The event is the culmination of a work that lasted over a year, strongly supported by Mohammad Abu Hilal, Chairman of the EGUMIPS Congress (First Internationally Validate European Guidelines Meeting on Minimally Invasive Pancreatic Surgery) and Director of the Complex Operating Unit of General Surgery of the Poliambulanza Foundation. Abu Hilal has in fact coordinated the work of 18 researchers and 70 experts in centers of excellence around the world, and the indications that have emerged will be known as the “Brescia Guidelines”.
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“Our commitment, with the Brescia Guidelines, will also be to choose patients who can be treated with greater hope of success, as not all pancreatic cancers are operable or suitable for minimally invasive surgery”, explains Abu Hilal: “Once the cases operable with minimally invasive techniques have been selected, it is important that the intervention takes place in centers of excellence. I am proud to be able to give the name of Brescia to the result of an important scientific path, which will certainly mark the future of medicine in this sector “.
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Cancer of the pancreas
Cancer of the pancreas is a rare tumor, but very aggressive and difficult to treat, which does not show particular initial symptoms and for this reason it is discovered at an early stage only in 7% of cases. “Unfortunately, the numbers are increasing”, Abu Hilal continues: “Only a few years ago it affected 4 people out of 100,000, today in Italy this incidence reaches 11 patients out of 100,000 with 14,500 diagnoses a year, 12,500 with a bad outcome. It is estimated that the most common form, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, will be the second leading cause of death among all types of cancer in 2030. Years ago we mainly visited people between 70 and 80 years old, now we also have younger patients. Among the risk factors currently known are cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption ”.
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The first guidelines for minimally invasive surgery
The method used to define these guidelines, which cover both laparoscopic and robotic techniques of pancreatic surgery, is very similar to that adopted for the Southampton Guidelines, now followed worldwide for laparoscopic liver surgery, another project led by prof. Abu Hilal, an international expert also in liver surgery. A jury of “super experts” then approved the results of the latest version of the protocols, definitively validating the guidelines.
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The presentation of the contents of the guidelines is the result of various previous steps and subsequent validations: the last took place on September 28, in the Vanvitelliano Hall of Palazzo Loggia, with the participation of the Mayor of Brescia, Emilio Del Bono, and the Deputy Mayor, Laura Castelletti, who welcomed the city and brought the greetings of the administration. “A significant event for our city, also in anticipation of next year, in which Brescia, together with Bergamo, will be the Capital of Culture”, said Mario Taccolini, President of the Poliambulanza Foundation. “We are proud of the excellent work done by prof. Abu Hilal, who directs the Complex Operating Unit of General Surgery in our hospital, coordinating a team of specialists and researchers, equipped with cutting-edge technologies in the fight against pancreatic cancer ”. “We thank all the specialists who participated in the drafting of this fundamental document represented by the Brescia Guidelines, in particular the project coordinator, prof. Abu Hilal “, concludes Alessandro Triboldi, Director General of the Poliambulanza Foundation:” The goal that specialists and researchers have set themselves is to increasingly enhance minimally invasive surgery techniques to offer patients a shorter post-operative course, a decrease the risk of complications and a higher quality of life ”.