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The use of pancreatic enzyme replacement (PERT) in inoperable pancreatic cancer

12 months
Approved budget:
Dr Amanda Landers
Mrs Helen Brown
Dr Matthew Strother
Mrs Kylie Russell
Mrs Clare McKenzie
Dr Juhaina Al Ruheili
Proposal type:
Research Activation Grant
Lay summary
Pancreatic cancer (PC) has a poor prognosis across the world. In New Zealand (NZ), PC has the lowest 1 year cancer survival rate of 24.8%. People with PC also face disease-related symptoms that reduce quality of life. The cancer disrupts normal pancreatic enzyme production that is responsible for digestion. This lack of enzymes leads to malabsorption of food, and ultimately symptoms of bloating, wind, pain, nausea and diarrhoea. Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) is funded and replaces the natural enzymes. PERT is described in international guidelines for management of PC. However this is not being utilised correctly in parts of NZ. People are potentially missing out on a medication that can improve quality of life substantially. We want to investigate the use of PERT on a population level by surveying people with PC. This will give information that will enable clinicians to improve quality of care for this group.