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New Study Group Formed to Advance Research in Pancreatic Diseases

May 10, 2023
Dr. C. Mel Wilcox
Dr. C. Mel Wilcox

The Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute recently established the United States Pancreatic Diseases Study Group, a network of digestive disease specialists focused on fostering high-quality research in pancreatic diseases. The group held its first meeting on May 7 during the Digestive Disease Week forum in Chicago. 

With 25 experts from tertiary care academic hospitals across the U.S. and India, the newly formed consortium is chaired by active researcher and internationally recognized academician C. Mel Wilcox, MD, MSPH. Dr. Wilcox is a board-certified gastroenterologist specializing in a full spectrum of benign pancreatic diseases at Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute. The consortium includes experts from Yale University, University of Kentucky, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Oregon Health Sciences University, Emory University, Rush University, University of Southern California, Beth Israel Boston, Aurora Health Wisconsin, Methodist Health System in Dallas, Loma Linda University Health, Mayo Clinic, West Virginia University, Dartmouth Medical Center and Asian Institute of Gastroenterology and All India Institute of Medical Sciences in India.

Pancreatic Disease Research 1 web

“This group was formed to address clinically relevant questions in pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cysts,” says Shyam Varadarajulu, MD, president of Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute. “The resulting research will help foster guidance for the optimal management of patients.”

Working collaboratively, the group plans to create more care pathways for pancreatic diseases by conducting multicenter clinical trials, developing standardized clinical protocols and consolidating patient registries for advanced research. Shared information and longitudinal data will help better illustrate the natural history of pancreatic diseases, increasing patient outcomes for all.

Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD
Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD

“The volume of patients for single-center clinical research tends to be small, with findings biased to singular expertise,” says Dr. Varadarajulu. “Our network of centers is more representative of the entire country. Multicenter clinical trials will allow for a larger patient enrollment to better address important questions quickly. Cooperation to develop expert guidelines will also better standardize clinical protocols for disease management.”

The Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute is committed to furthering research and clinician education about the most advanced, complex digestive disorders. The institute’s internationally recognized physicians combine best-in-class clinical care with innovative clinical research to advance the study and treatment of digestive diseases.

To refer a patient, use EpicCare link or call (321) 841-8393.

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