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Barbara reports that she and her friends hadn’t planned on bidding for the yacht trip at the Annual LAPR&D Charity Ball - we just did it on the night! When we were successful we decided that our whole table would go! The advice we received about the budget we needed for food, drink, fuel and sailing plans etc. was spot on. We met the yacht and crew in Palma, Majorca. The weather in early April was warm but a bit windy so the captain advised on the best route each day - we sailed to Port Adriana then onto Andratx. All the crew were so friendly and looked after us amazingly! We ate fabulous food (mostly on board) plus a lovely meal at a restaurant in Port Adriana (where we docked overnight) - recommended and booked for us by the captain.
None of us had sailed before but we felt in very safe hands. The yacht has everything you could wish for on board and was a fabulous experience and a great laugh with great friends - the crew were there when we needed them but totally unobtrusive. They had a birthday cake made for one of our party and made the day extra special for us all - they felt like part of the family by the time we sadly had to depart.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend anyone to do this if you get the chance - especially as the proceeds from the bid go to such a wonderful charity.
Note from LAPR&D - thanks for sharing your story with us Barbara and for you and your friends generous support for our Charity.
In late spring 2017, we launched our second major research project that aims to identify biomarkers of metastatic Pancreatic cancer (see diagram below) and investigate drugs targeting Pancreatic Cancer cells. The project is being led by researcher Dr. Pardis Avinrad, who has expertise in the cancer stem cells and biomarkers fields, working under the supervision of Emre Sayan PhD and Lecturer and Associate Professor of cancer biology at Southampton University Hospital.
Pancreatic Cancer continues to be difficult to diagnose at an early stage and treat; there are no biomarkers (early warning tests) of metastatic Pancreatic Cancer and also no drugs that specifically target Pancreatic Cancer cells.
Our research project has 3 main goals:
1 identify biomarkers of metastatic pancreatic cancer,
2 predict what the body’s response is to certain anti pancreatic cancer drugs to slow down, halt or prevent Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) 
3 use the models to discover drugs that would prevent or slow down the spread of pancreatic cancer.
During this first year of the project we aim to characterize 10 pancreatic cancer cell lines for their ability to resist chemotherapy, metastasize and acquire stem cell features. Once we have identified the key factors playing the most significant role in the spread of Pancreatic Cancer, we will perform Immunohistochemistry (IHC) technique. This is a method for selectively imaging the presence and location of proteins in cells of a tissue section. The IHC will analyse 100 Pancreatic cancer patients and investigate clinico-pathological variables in relation to the expression of EMT-inducers and other parameters such as stem cell features. We are hoping that, as with our findings in other cancers (such as liver and breast), at least 1 EMT inducing transcription factor will correlate with Pancreatic cancer spread and patient survival.
In its first six months the project has already made some progress. The research team has focused on understanding the different biological (differentiation) states of cells and the minimum requirements to ensure meaningful tests. The team have concluded that the research requires cells at each of the three stages of differentiations (from well differentiated / healthy cells to less differentiated cells) with the same genetics i.e. from the same patient.
The next stage (years 2 and 3) of the project is to try and identify new drugs and concentration/dosage levels that can act in the right way on the different stages of the disease to kill metastatic pancreatic cancer cells.
We will keep you updated on progress via the News section of our website. In the meantime if you wish to support this research programme please visit our "donate now" section of the website and thank you for your interest.
 Metastasis is the spread of cancer or other disease from one organ or part of the body to another without being directly connected with it.
 Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is a process whereby healthy cells (epithelial) with highly adhesive properties, acquire cancerous features (mesenchymal).
On 15 November 2017 Nik Dakin MP for Scunthorpe and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer hosted a meeting in Parliament of stakeholders, including LAPR&D, to launch the publication of “Need for Speed.” This is the group’s strategy on tackling pancreatic cancer. A copy of the document can be found at http://www.pancanappg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/5934_PCUK_APPG_Report_HR4.pdf
LAPR&D were consulted on the content of the strategy which includes 6 themes:
1. INCREASED RESEARCH FUNDING
2. MORE AND EXPANDED PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS
3. INCREASED GP SUPPORT
4. FASTER DIAGNOSTIC PATHWAYS
5. FAST TRACK SURGERY AND OTHER TREATMENTS
6. CANCER STRATEGY AND CANCER ALLIANCES
The launch meeting, attended by over 100 delegates, heard from medical professionals on the need to do things differently - focus on early diagnosis; jaundice clinic and treatment within a week. Speakers encouraged the use of “Need for Speed” as a working document to influence attitudes. They also explained the difficulty in that symptoms are vague and 38% of patients had to visit their GP 3 times before being referred for specialist care. It is vital therefore that decision aids are develop to assist diagnosis and keep GPs updated.
The meeting also heard from Cariad Lloyd, actor, comedian and writer who has appeared in Peep Show, Have I Got News For You and 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown. She lost her own father to pancreatic cancer when she was 15. She supported the work of the APPPG and the proposals in the “Need for Speed”. She joked, abeit with a serious message “the pancreas does not get a good press; you aren’t told to get it out and give it a feel! It is the antithesis to Donald Trump! We need to shout about it to ensure we get more survivors!”
Paul Over, Charity Volunteer, who attended the meeting on behalf of LAPR&D said “I was really impressed with the amount of work that has been undertaken to raise the profile of pancreatic cancer. If the proposals contained with the strategy document “Need for Speed”, especially those related to early diagnosis and research, are acted upon then there is much to be hopeful for. LAPR&D are funding new research that will support the aims of the APPG and is interested in collaborating with others to increase the speed with which we reached our shared objectives”.
An update on our research programme can be found in our Winter 2017 Newsletter, available via our website, and a detailed update will be provided shortly.
Guests were invited to transport themselves back to 15th and 16th Century Renaissance Italy. Imagine you are in Venice and the Carnival festivities are at their peak. “Who is this masked lady dancing so elegantly? Who is this draped gentleman? Is he the Phantom of the Opera?
...and so the Ball began. Hosted at the superb Mick Channon suite at St. Mary's, home of Southampton Football Club, over 200 guests gathered on 11th November for the charity's highlight event of the year.
The Gully Gully Man (or Gulliver to his friends) amazed us with his trickery and dexterity as he entertained guests at their table whilst others captured memories with the Selfie Mirror from Pink Giraffe
Feasting on Confit of Duck guests were entertained by Diva Divo - a superb, professional Operatic ensemble, led by the irrepressible Elinor Chapman, a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. After supper Richard Linton - Actor, DJ, Radio Host and Master of Ceremonies, was our guide for the evening. Encouraging generous bids for our auction prizes - a major part of the fund raising evening - and leaving time to present some commemorative cufflinks to one of our founders, Mo Abu Hilal, on his being awarded a full professorship.
After dinner dancing to the music of London-based Band Capitale – a collective of eight incredible young musicians, all of whom operate at the very epicentre of today's British music industry with a repertoire spanning a full four decades.
The end result are a magnificent total proceeds of £20,494 - more than enough to keep one of our researchers in post for 7 months - a superb effort and special thanks to our organising Committee Florence Gimonet, Susan Kay and Penny Burke. Thanks also to our sponsors: the Barker Mills Foundation; TSI - Turbo Service International; Sport Pesa; The Saints Foundation and Halo Conferences and Events who helped to make the whole evening memorable.
Thanks to everyone who attended and enjoyed the evening - see you in 2018 and thanks for your continued support.
We are delighted to announce that Mo Abu Hilal, one of our charity founders, has been awarded a chair in Hepatobiliary Pancreatic and Minimally Invasive Surgery.
This is an academic promotion, which is awarded in recognition of excellence and high performance in research, education, international reputation and enterprise. The award is particularly prestigious as it has been awarded by a Russell group University which represent the top 20 universities in the UK.
For Professor Abu Hilal, this is just reward and recognition of his very active research and academic achievements. He has authored a large number of publications in respected medical journals, initiated many important studies.
He has also conducted controlled trials and is internationally recognised for his work in developing key hole liver and pancreatic surgery in the UK and worldwide. His research puts Southampton on the international map as an important key player in the field alongside his teaching and training a large number of UK and international surgeons. This year Mo has hosted the first international meeting to establish guidelines in laparoscopic liver surgery. The guidelines have been published this month as the Southampton Guidelines to be adopted worldwide.
I am sure all our supporters will want to join LAPR&D in congratulating Mo on his well-deserved appointment.
In November 2016 LAPR&D participated for the first time in the Pancreatic Cancer “Turn it Purple” campaign. We obtained the fantastic support of Southampton City Council, the O2 Guildhall and Southampton FC who all turned their buildings purple for a week to help raise awareness of this underfunded and little understood disease of pancreatic cancer.
During the week over 160 people visited our stand in the foyer of Southampton City Council. Charity volunteers and medical experts from Southampton University Hospital, many of whom are involved in our research programmes, discussed the disease and explained what we were doing to try to understand it better and improve outcomes for patients. We would like to thank everyone who stopped by, donated, listened, signed up to our newsletter, agreed to take collection boxes and who liked our Facebook page as a result of the campaign.
Our social media posts during the campaign reach over 9,000 people which ensure that we well and truly reached our objective to raise awareness.
If you would like to support our work please visit our website at http://www.lapcancercharity.com and encourage your friends to like our Facebook page.
Chaired by LAPR&D founder Mohammad Abu Hilal the EGMLLS 2017 two-day Congress meeting allowed delegates the opportunity to witness discussion and presentations by experienced surgeons and experts from across Europe including Japan and the US, and be involved in the shaping of guidelines for safer laparoscopic (keyhole) liver surgery practice.
This 1st European Guidelines Meeting on Laparoscopic Liver Surgery took place on the 10th – 11th February 2017 at the Hilton at Ageas Bowl, Southampton. The meeting was endorsed by the EAHPBA (European-African Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association) and attracted over 200 UK and international experts in open and Laparoscopic Liver Surgery to develop future Guidelines for the safe and continuous expansion of Laparoscopic Liver Surgery in Europe and worldwide.
Topics covered included: indications for surgery, patient selection, surgical techniques, complex clinical scenarios, training and future implementation were discussed. During the meeting delegates were exposed to state of the art lectures and videos on surgical techniques as well as a number of “Meet the Professor” sessions.
The meeting heard that liver keyhole surgery is less painful for the patient; more cost effective; allows quicker recovery and is expanding in use. However, there are no recognised guidelines for its use. Draft guidelines have now been developed in association with the International Laparoscopic Liver Society (ILLS), European-African Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association (EAHPBA), the Italian Group of Minimally Invasive Liver Surgery (I Go MILS), Association of upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (AUGIS) & the Great Britain and Ireland Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association (GBIHPBA).
For the guidelines to be acceptable it is important that the methodology used to create them must be credible; validated and defendable. They have been developed by a research working group (pictured) and then considered by 23 experts across Europe. The guidelines were validated by a Validation Committee, chaired by Dr. Horacio J. Asbun, Professor of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, USA and was supported by the LAPR&D charity who represented patient interests. The charity funds research that detects the early signs of these forms of cancer and enhances mini-invasive treatment, such as keyhole surgery, and after care methods – as such to Congress and the Charity share similar objectives. The draft guidelines cover 4 topic areas: Indication; Patients and Complex Disease; Procedures; Technique and Implementation. Feedback from the Validation Committee on the draft guidelines was provided to the Congress and will now be considered by the Working and Steering Grus before being adopted across Europe.
Mo Abu Hilal said “tremendous progress has been made during the Congress in Southampton on the development of these important guidelines. I would like to pay credit to all who have worked so hard to get us to this point including the Working Group, all subject matter experts and the Validation committee. We will now finalise the guidelines which will bring benefits to patients. I hope that over time they will attain worldwide acceptance” .
To be held at the Hilton Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday 10th & Saturday 11th February 2017 and opened by Southampton Mayor Councillor Cathie McEwing this internationally important meeting will be well supported by LAPR&D. The meeting is being hosted by charity founder Mr. Mo Abu Hilal with charity supporter Paul Over providing part of the patient representative input into the guidelines.
The 1st European Guidelines Meeting on Laparoscopic Liver Surgery (EGMLLS) will provide an opportunity for a large number of international experts in open and laparoscopic (keyhole) Liver Surgery to be involved in the development of future guidelines for a safe and continuous expansion of Laparoscopic Liver Surgery in Europe and worldwide. Delegates from across the UK and Europe are attending this inaugural meeting which will take place within this contemporary and purpose-built Southampton conference venue. It is expected that in excess of 150 delegates and visitors to Southampton will attend this important meeting.
The EGMLLS Organising Committee includes Southampton based surgical consultants who are enthusiastic about both supporting this meeting and promoting Southampton. further information on the meeting can be found here: http://www.egmlls2017.com
Southampton Football Club is proud to be supporting World Pancreatic Cancer Day on Thursday 17th November.
Through Kelvin Davis’s heavy involvement with the Liver & Pancreatic Research and Development Cancer Charity, Saints will be helping to raise further awareness of a cause close to the former goalkeeper’s heart.
Kelvin is now patron and chairman of the Liver & Pancreatic Research and Development Cancer Charity, having got to know its founder, Mo Abu Hilal, who performed emergency appendix surgery on his wife, Kelly, in 2014.
The goalkeeper’s testimonial back in May raised vital funds for the Southampton-based charity, and now the club will be showing further support for an important cause.
Throughout the week, the Ted Bates statue at St Mary’s has been lit a violet hue, along with the O2 Guildhall, to mark World Pancreatic Cancer Day.
Liver and Pancreatic Cancer affects more than 15,000 patients in the UK every year. There is still a scarcity of funds dedicated to research to improve early detection and survival rates, which have not improve in the last 40 years.
That is why Kelvin is keen to highlight and raise awareness of LAPRD over the course of the week. “The idea with the purple to light the stadium up is to gain awareness and to get people talking,” he said.
“The council are doing something amazing in town with the civic centre being lit purple as well, which is the colour associated with World Pancreatic Cancer Day.
“The charity has spent a considerable amount of money this year on two research programmes to support what we’re trying to do.”
The Liver and Pancreatic Research and Development Cancer Charity based from Southampton General Hospital are teaming up with Southampton City Council and Live Nation this November to turn the Civic Centre and Guildhall purple as part of pancreatic cancer awareness month.
Pancreatic cancer is the fifth deadliest cancer in the UK and it affects more than 15,000 patients in the UK every year. This year the LAPR&D have teamed up with Southampton City Council and LiveNation #O2GuildhallS to light up two of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Civic Centre and Guildhall, purple – the symbolic colour of pancreatic cancer. The famous buildings will turn purple on the evening of Monday 14 November and will stay purple for one week.
All charity supporters and the media are invited to meet charity patron, former Southampton FC captain and goalkeeper, Kelvin Davis, Councillor Dave Shields, Cabinet Member for Health and Sustainability at Southampton City Council, medical experts from the research team and patients for a photo call at 16:30 on Monday 14 November in Guildhall Square. If you are a press or media outlet and would like to attend please get in touch via:
Call: 023 8083 2000
Charity volunteers and medical experts from the Southampton University Hospital will also be present in the foyer of Southampton City Council from 12noon-2pm on Monday 14th November – Friday 18th November and will be pleased to speak to anyone about the work they are doing.
LAPR&D strongly believe that raising awareness of pancreatic cancer and its signs and symptoms can save lives. More than 50% of patients have never heard of pancreatic cancer before their own diagnosis and half the population cannot name a single symptom of pancreatic cancer – that’s why raising awareness is so vital! Unlike many other forms of cancer, detection and cure rates have not improved in the last 40 years.
LAPR&D, via its world leading research programme based at the Southampton University Hospital, is trying to improve the life chances of those who contract this disease. They are currently funding two research programmes with the objective of improving detection and treatment.
Mr. Hilal, one of the charity’s founding members and surgeon at Southampton University hospital said: “This research into liver stem cells allows us a unique opportunity to improve the outcomes and survival for patients with liver disease. Once we establish our protocols in liver stem cells, we’ll be looking to extend our research into pancreatic stems cells too. This was our first major grant and we are delighted that it has been given to a very talented local team at Southampton University Hospital.
“The research group acknowledges that it has a long way to go to reach the point of using liver generated from stem cells in the management of patients with liver disease. However in the last two years the group has made good progress and is working hard towards the research aims.
“We are grateful to our many supporters who have so generously given of their time and money to make this research possible and to Southampton City Council for supporting this awareness campaign. If the research is successful it will give a massive boost to the treatment of this form of cancer.”
Councillor Dave Shields, Cabinet Member for Health and Sustainability at Southampton City Council, said:
“We are proud to support this locally based charity in the fantastic work they do in improving patient care and patient prognosis. Their research into pioneering new treatments and identifying the causes of pancreatic cancer is invaluable in the fight against this terrible disease."
You can find out more about the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer at: https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/about-pancreatic-cancer/symptoms/
Donations can be made to the Liver and Pancreatic Research and Development Cancer Charity by following the "Donate" button on this website.
The Liver and Pancreatic Research and Development cancer charity (registered Charity Number 1051543 and affiliated to the Southampton University Hospital Trust) was set up by surgeon Mr. Mo Abu Hilal in 2012 and a number of patients with liver and pancreatic diseases. The charity, based at Southampton Hospital, aims to deliver improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the liver and pancreas.
Further ways to support the charity can be found at the "Get Involved" section of this website.