Iron Pires de Abreu Neto, MD

Iron Pires de Abreu Neto MD
Iron Pires de Abreu Neto MD
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Brazil)
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a HPB and liver transplant surgeon in Brazil, my home country. Although I routinely deal with many other HPB diseases, cholangiocarcinomas has been my main interest. From a very early stage of my surgical training, I have been extremely fascinated by biliary malignancies. The long and complex surgeries caught my attention at first. Also, the feeling that this was still an unanswered problem prompted and excited me to go deeper in this challenging subject. Therefore, I decided to focus my attention on this specific type of rare cancer.
I was mostly dedicated in the past years to surgical training. Nevertheless, I progressively started getting involved with research as well.
I live with my wife and our young boy in São Paulo and have plans of keeping the family growing. I enjoy spending free time with family and friends, and playing tennis is one of my hobbies.
Can you share one or two of your specific research interests?
My main research interests are:
- The role of liver transplantation in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.
- Improvements in surgical technique for the achievement of better results in operations for biliary tumors.
- Making complex hepatectomies procedures safer.
Why did you decide to specialize in hepatobiliary cancers?
Because, for sure, we are still not able to offer patients a satisfactory treatment. Despite all the recent advances, outcomes are still poor for most patients.
Can you describe one of the unforgettable moments in your patients care or research that has impacted your career?
I would start highlighting a very nice memory. My visit to Nagoya University in Japan in 2019. That was a life changing experience. There, I met a very dedicated team, absolutely focused on the improvement of surgical treatment of biliary malignancies for more than four decades. My special thanks to Professors Masato Nagino and Tomoki Ebata.

Unfortunately, some sad moments also impacted me a lot. Losing a patient for this disease is always sad, but in a postoperative setting it feels even worse. I’m very sorry for the ones that were not able to recover well after surgery.

Can you tell us one thing collaboration with colleagues could accomplish that you could not accomplish on your own?
I am convinced that collaboration is essential in our battle for better outcomes for the treatment of biliary malignancies. Cholangiocarcinoma surgery is a very complex field. It involves great technical complexity and, in addition, we are dealing with a rare disease. We would never be able to improve our practice without the collaboration of so many institutions around the globe that share their results and achievements.
Treating cholangiocarcinomas is a team effort. Research must be as well.
If you had access to one resource that would move your research forward, what would that resource be?
Awareness. In Brazil, we are still far behind in terms of cholangiocarcinoma research. There are very few people engaged in the study of the disease. If we had means to raise awareness and involve more people in this cause, I believe research would develop much faster.
Of course, funding is also a huge problem. But, for me, the top priority would be to develop a larger research network.
How did you learn about the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation?
Around 2018, I was searching the internet, trying to find content that would help communicate better with patients, and then I came across the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. With time, I could see that the foundation offered a lot more and never stopped following.
Can you tell us why you became a member of the ICRN?
As an ICRN member I will be able to keep contact with experts around the globe and stay up to date on the latest research initiatives on the subject.
I believe being an ICRN member will also help in the development of my research activity in Brazil. Likewise, it will be a pleasure to collaborate with colleagues on global initiatives.