Pancreatic cancer patients to benefit from new online resource

Researchers at the University of Melbourne are working alongside patients and families affected by pancreatic cancer to develop a new supportive care resource, tailored specifically to their needs, to aid with symptoms, side effects and the day-to-day challenges they face.


The study, funded by Cancer Australia through the Supporting People with Cancer funding scheme, will deliver the first Australian co-designed supportive care website for people affected by pancreatic cancer.

Professor Meinir Krishnasamy, Chair in Cancer Nursing at the University of Melbourne, said that the PanSupport website will offer advice, resources and information identified by patients and family to support them to live life as well as possible after diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

“Each year, approximately 3,100 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Australia. Despite poor prognosis and considerable associated symptom burden, there has been little investigation to-date of the supportive care needs of patients and their carers.

“Our research at the University of Melbourne is aiming to rectify this, working closely with affected patients and their families to co-design the PanSupport website. The website will optimise access to best-practice self-management information and tools to support wellbeing, irrespective of location and access to health services.”

Pancreatic cancer patients often experience rapid decline in health characterised by complex pain, fatigue and weight loss. Evidence also suggests that rates of anxiety and depression are higher among patients with pancreatic cancer compared to other cancer groups, particularly as the disease progresses.

Supportive care aims to provide access to information, resources and support services that any person diagnosed with cancer may need at any time throughout their experience with cancer.

The PanSupport website will be launched in mid-2019.

Professor Meinir Krishnasamy is the Chair in Cancer Nursing and lead of the Cancer Nursing Research Group at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research and Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.