Russell Langan, MD, chief of Surgical Oncology and Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, details the implementation of the center's Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program.
Russell Langan, MD, chief of Surgical Oncology and Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and surgical oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, details the implementation of the center's Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program, an innovative cloud-based data management platform for patients with pancreatic cysts.
There have been many technological advances in cancer care and patient management in recent years. What sets this new cloud-based system apart?
So we are just exceedingly excited to have partnered with Eon Health, a med tech company based out of Colorado, to build a platform for patients with pancreatic cysts. We extrapolated their previous platform for patients with lung nodules, who have similar risk. Patients with lung nodules have a risk of developing lung cancer and need lifetime surveillance, and patients with pancreatic cysts have risk within their pancreas that increases their chances of developing a pancreas cancer over their lifetime, and therefore need lifetime surveillance. That is typically done within Excel spreadsheets at a pancreatic center with specialists, and clearly, there's a fair amount of human error that comes with that. That gets back to my original point of our excitement to partner with a med tech company to build out a platform to not only identify patients immediately who have a pancreatic abnormality or a pancreatic cyst if they get imaging at our hospital or one of our imaging facilities, but also follow them and manage them in a more modern way with this platform over that patient's life. We truly believe it's going to increase the quality of care not only at the time point of identification of the patient, but also in the longitudinal follow up of that patient. Generally speaking, 15% of Americans have pancreatic cysts, and the majority of those cysts are pre-cancerous. And what that means is, it's a marker of risk for that patient over their lifetime that increases their risk above the general population in developing a pancreatic cancer. Therefore, they need appropriate surveillance. There are national and international guidelines, which we use and which patients should be followed on. And now we are using this platform, which embeds into our electronic medical record, to identify and manage this patient population.