Research Progress Reports
#1 Research Project
Probability - Trade - Off Interview Overview- Many surgeons and physicians have been considering that the Whipple procedure is only a palliative therapy. In their opinion, the results are not good enough to suggest that the Whipple procedure should be offered to patients. Although they realize that without undergoing surgery, the mean survival is only 6 months, these doctors say that most of the patients with pancreatic cancer are quite advanced in their age and therefore they should not be operated on.
No previous research has focussed attention to the patients' perspective. As physicians, we recommend some treatments because they are the only available potential way to cure. Despite the fact that the Whipple fails for the majority of our patients, we are able to cure a few of them. Is that sufficient to support surgery for everyone? We don't know.
My interest is to find out. The Probability-Trade-Off (PTO) interview will provide us with an understanding as to what patients with pancreatic cancer, would decide if fully informed about their condition and the options available to them.
PTO is a formal, structured interview that makes patients go through a clinical situation. After being fully informed about the nature of the disease, the probabilities of success and failure, the patients are asked to choose between two or more treatments. Then, the probabilities of success and failures are changed in a progressive way so that one treatment becomes more appealing over the others. The difference between the starting probability and the probability when the patient changes her/his mind is called Minimal Probability Trade Off that the individual is willing to accept to undergo a therapy that is more invasive but that can potentially provide a better long term outcome.
This research technique is quite new and has not been used before for pancreatic cancer.
- Dr. Molinari
1) FEBRUARY , 2011 PROGRESS REPORT- click on the following link to read how the PTO Interview Research Project is progressing.
#2 Research Project
Pancreatic Cancer Registry Overview-