In this video, Shounak Majumder, M.D. provides an overview of the new High-Risk Pancreas Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota developed to screen individuals identified as having a high risk of developing pancreatic cancer due to family history or genetic predisposition.
We started the high respond to this clinic in early 2020. Here in Mayo Clinic Rochester. And the idea behind it was to provide care to patients who are at a higher than average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer. Of all the patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. About half of them are diagnosed at a very advanced stage where an intervention with surgery is not even an option. So our goal with early detection is to identify the disease at an asymptomatic early stage when it's amenable for a potentially curative resection. We are developing novel blood tests and pancreatic juice tests to detect early pancreatic cancer. The idea is that if we can collect a sample of the pancreatic juice during endoscopy, this might have exfoliated cancer cells that we can detect using a highly sensitive molecular acid. We did studies that looked at using pancreatic tissue to identify if we can differentiate normal pancreas from cancer. And we took those molecular markers that we identified in tissue to then develop blood tests that can detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage. I call this purposeful innovation. So be able to bring that discovery science into the clinic and translate it to a test that we can use in our patients. If these patients are going to be followed over time and the there's an opportunity to innovate and create novel screening tools, then the need to link their care to a research registry is also critically important. And here in Mayo Clinic we have ir be approved research registry that follows these patients. Over time, we have even looked at exploring the role of artificial intelligence in using this data to create tools for early detection of pancreatic cancer. We're trying to detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage. What would be the next step is our ability to detect pancreatic pre cancer at an advanced stage. There is a consensus that screening should really be done at tertiary centers of Pancreas Excellence for patients coming to the high risk clinic. The first touch point is a phone call from one of our nurses and that is our opportunity to gather information about their family history about their risk factors, about factors that would influence what kind of testing can be done or can be offered during the clinic visit itself. It usually starts off with a visit with me and we'll go over what the pros and cons of screening are, what to expect from the screening modalities. And then the goal is to make a shared decision when I talk to patients in this clinic, what I feel is an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The ability to come here to engage in this program to contribute towards advancing research that might develop tools that the next generation uses is very well received. Our goal is to be able to help not only these patients today but tomorrow and and subsequent generations