We were delighted to work with the Peritoneal Malignancy Institute Basingstoke to deliver the EuroPMP International workshop on Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP). This meeting was part of the EuroPMP COST Action. We welcomed specialists from around the world, including: Germany, Spain, Sweden and the US, to discuss the latest developments in the management of pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) and there was a great buzz of discussion.
Professor Bill Heald was bestowed the honour of ‘Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star’ from HM King Carl XVI. The Order of the Polar Star was established in 1748 by King Frederik I of Sweden, and has been bestowed on foreign nationals since 1975. The award recognises Bill’s meritorious and pioneering surgical work and devotion to duty.
Professor Heald received the award from the Swedish Ambassador to the UK, Mikaela Kumlin Granit, at the Swedish Embassy on 29 April 2022. The Ambassador referred to Professor Heald’s tireless work with the Swedish medical community which led to improvements in the treatment of cancer, improved patient care and improved survival rates, not only in Sweden but across the world. She summarised his remarkable career, including having been a vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, as well as his development of the pioneering surgical technique, total mesorectal excision (TME), which has become the gold standard for lower rectal cancer removal. The Ambassador praised Professor Heald for promoting cooperation between Sweden and the UK with the noble aim of alleviating human suffering.
Caoimhe Walsh, Surgical Registrar
A Pelican supported research study COALS, was presented at the Upper Gastrointestinal Congress in Belfast in October 2021 by Ms Walsh, who won the UGI Congress Oral Presentation Prize for the best presentation in the Liver Free Paper Session.
Ms Walsh was delighted to go on to present the work further afield at the 15th IHPBA World Congress 2022. This conference was organised by the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association and was held in New York, USA, between 30 March – 2 April 2022.
COALS was investigating coagulation in liver surgery. Its specific focus was to understand the changes in coagulation (blood clotting) that occur before, during and immediately after liver surgery for colorectal metastases (secondary bowel cancer). Blood loss is a major risk when operating on the liver so understanding how to reduce that risk is vital to improving patients’ survival and recovery from this type of surgery.
Presenting the studies significant findings on an international scale, is hoped to add weight to the growing field of evidence supporting a global change in practice amongst liver surgeons to improve patient outcomes.
Huge congratulations to everyone involved in this study.
Pelican was able to hold its first in-person event since the pandemic started, our annual Basingstoke Colorectal Symposium. The attendees really enjoyed the event and we heard from some great speakers talking about their research that had been funded by Pelican. This event demonstrated how important it is for us to continue our research and education programmes to improve the treatment of bowel cancer.
It was a joy to be able to revive the traditional ‘attendees on the stairs’ photograph.
Pelican supported a research study that was undertaken by Miss Caoimhe Walsh, a Surgical Registrar based at Hampshire Hospitals. Miss Walsh presented the findings of this research at the Upper Gastrointestinal Congress in Belfast in October 2021, where she was awarded the UGI Congress Oral Presentation Prize for the best presentation in the Liver Free Paper Session.
The study was undertaken by the Basingstoke Hepatobiliary team in conjunction with the Haematology team in Basingstoke and the Biochemistry Department at Surrey University. Its specific focus was to understand the changes in blood clotting that occur before, during and immediately after liver surgery for bowel cancer secondaries.
Historically, doctors understood that patients undergoing liver surgery had a higher risk of bleeding after surgery and so no drugs were given to prevent clotting. This study changed that view as it demonstrated that this particular group of patients are at increased risk of clotting just before surgery, particularly if they have to undergo a lengthy, complex operation on the liver. The study findings therefore recommend that patients should be given drugs to prevent clotting pre-surgery to avoid the risk of major clots that can cause significant medical problems, for example if a clot moves to the heart or lungs.
Miss Walsh also presented the findings at a research meeting held in Pelican’s base in Basingstoke. The meeting included Rt. Hon. Professor the Lord Kakkar, an internationally-renowned expert on thrombosis (blood clotting), who emphasised the importance of the findings from this study.
Pelican Cancer Foundation Trustee, Myrddin (Merv) Rees, received the OBE in recognition of his services to liver cancer surgery in the New Year Honours. Merv is a Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon and pioneered liver resection, the surgical removal of a part of the liver, in the 1980’s at Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital, at a time when many medical professionals said that liver resection could not be done. Merv learnt about the bloodless operating technique from an eminent surgeon in Germany, Johannes Scheele, and brought the practice to Basingstoke. His development led to dramatically increased survival rates for patients with liver secondaries, with well over 3,000 patients operated on to date.
Liver cancer is usually a secondary condition that has spread to the organ from a primary cancer in another part of the body, including the bowel. Merv has been a key part of creating the surgical expertise in treating bowel cancer and its associated secondary spread in Basingstoke and is a huge supporter of the work Pelican does.
Merv is always the first to acknowledge that he couldn’t have achieved all of this without many colleagues including his surgical and other medical colleagues, along with many clinical, admin and support teams over the years.
Merv has given his time generously, both professionally and as a Trustee, to many projects over the years and we are thrilled that his pioneering work has been recognised in this way. Pelican is very proud to be associated with such amazing clinical colleagues, of whom Merv is an outstanding example. Huge congratulations Merv.