As a recent volunteer for The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, I was eager to help out in any way—stuffing envelopes, making calls or passing out brochures. Instead, I was invited to take part in Partnering for Cures in New York City, an amazing collaboration between philanthropic foundations, medical researchers and industry in an effort improve research. I was thrilled to participate in such an important event. The two-day conference included hundreds of nonprofit organizations willing to contribute their learning in hopes to improve others efforts. It offered presentations from a variety of organizations, such as the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, panel discussions and breakout sessions for partnership. The inspiring messages of accomplishment in short-time frames along with the distribution of data, ideas, successes and pitfalls shared by these other organizations gave me such hope that The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation can achieve research breakthroughs (and quickly). I left with a greater commitment to help to find a cure. I encourage anyone who has the desire and time to volunteer. The experience is not only fulfilling but enlightening and educational.
In December, David Windle represented The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at the Sante Fe Gastrointestinal Cancers Conference. The University of New Mexico Cancer Center Gastrointestinal Oncology Section and the University of New Mexico Office of Continuing Education organize this annual conference, with a goal of “disseminating the most updated information regarding the multidisciplinary management of Gastrointestinal Cancers.” Gastrointestinal cancers include cancers of the stomach, liver, gall bladder, bile ducts, and small and large intestines.
The conference featured many exciting speakers from leading cancer centers across the United States. Specific to bile duct cancer, discussions included the epidemiology* of biliary tree cancers, endoscopic management of biliary obstructions, percutaneous** management of biliary obstructions, and clinical presentation and treatment of biliary tree cancers.
In addition to attending the multiple sessions specific to bile duct cancer, David had the opportunity to speak with the distinguished speakers, including Dr. Manal Hassan from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa and Dr. Eileen O’Reilly from Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Hashem B. El-Serag from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and Dr. Lewis Roberts from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. David indicated that the dedicated speakers and attendees showed much compassion, graciousness, and an overall excitement that we are supporting their efforts.
* Epidemiology is the study of the cause, distribution, and control of disease in population of humans
** Percutaneous is a surgical term that pertains to procedures performed through the skin, usually by a needle
Have you found the clinical trial process confusing? Or are you looking for additional information on the available bile duct cancer clinical trials? If so, then we have an initiative in 2010 that may help! The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation will host an educational series on clinical trials, including spotlights on bile duct cancer-specific clinical trials.
We kick off this educational series with a Clinical Trials 101 webinar. We are very excited to announce that Dr. Jack Welch from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will join us to discuss some clinical trial basics, and answer your questions. Please mark your calendars for February 19, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, where Dr. Welch will lead us in this interactive webinar. We encourage the community to join us, and come prepared to ask any questions that you have about clinical trials. In the event that you cannot attend the webinar, it will be recorded and added to our website for future reference.
Future webinars will spotlight active clinical trials available to the bile duct cancer community. If you know of a clinical trial that you would like to see featured, please contact Sara Hinkley at firstname.lastname@example.org.