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British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Dear members,

The pancreatitis working group would like to highlight some novel work the members were involved with over the past two years. As you may be aware, in 2021 a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) using the James Lind Alliance (JLA) principles was set up and through a thorough process, the top 10 priorities in research topics in pancreatitis affecting children, young people and adults were collated. The PSP panel consisted of medical, nursing, and allied health professionals but also patients and families affected by pancreatitis.

The project was co-funded by the Guts UK Charity, the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) and the Pancreatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (PSGBI).

Several research institutions including the National Institute for Health and Research (NIHR) welcome applications addressing the top 10 priority questions as listed below. The full list of 23 research questions that were within the scope of this PSP can be found on the Guts UK website.

Table: Pancreatitis PSP – Top 10 research priorities

Research Priorities
1Are there better ways to treat and manage acute and long-term pancreatitis pain, for example using non-opioid (painkillers) drugs?
2What can be done to prevent pancreatitis from becoming worse, and to stop or reverse the damage to the pancreas?
3Are there better ways to reduce inflammation in people with pancreatitis, both in the pancreas and the rest of the body?
4How can pancreatitis be diagnosed more quickly and accurately, especially on admission to hospital?
5How can people with pancreatitis be helped to manage their condition post-diagnosis (after being diagnosed) e.g., by giving information about diet, medication, and lifestyle changes?
6Are there better ways to treat and manage flare-ups (when symptoms get worse) in people with chronic pancreatitis?
7Can gene therapy (altering genes inside the body’s cells) be used to treat people with pancreatitis?
8How can multiple organ failure be prevented in those people with pancreatitis who become seriously ill? How can the care of those people with multiple organ failure be improved?
9How can pancreatic cancer be diagnosed earlier in people with pancreatitis?
10What are the psychological (mental and emotional) impacts of pancreatitis? What are the best ways to treat and support people (both young people and adults) with pancreatitis who experience mental health problems?

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