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Innovations in the Management of Chronic Pancreatitis

Dr. Peter B. Cotton and Dr. David B. Adams
Dr. Peter B. Cotton and Dr. David B. Adams 

A new textbook and an international conference share the latest advancements in diagnosing and treating chronic pancreatitis

by Lindy Keane Carter

Chronic pancreatitis (CP), or long-standing inflammation of the pancreas, is a challenging disease for health care practitioners because it is difficult to diagnose and treat. CP is characterized by severe abdominal pain and irreversible damage to the pancreas.

In the past decade, new medical and surgical treatments have emerged that enable multidisciplinary teams to better recognize and manage this disease. In 2014, MUSC Health gastrointestinal specialists led by David B. Adams, M.D., professor of surgery and an expert in CP, organized the first international exchange of information on these advancements.

The 2014 International Symposium on the Medical and Surgical Treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis brought together experts from the fields of medicine, surgery, psychology, physiology, pharmacology, and genetics. Conference presentations provided new research findings about the causes of CP and its pain pathways, updates on the endoscopic management of CP and updates on total pancreatectomy combined with auto islet cell transplantation.

In April, a textbook covering the information from that meeting was published. “Pancreatitis: Medical and Surgical Management” (Wiley-Blackwell) covers acute pancreatitis as well as CP. Adams is the chief editor and Peter B. Cotton, M.D., professor of medicine at MUSC, is one of the co-editors. The book provides gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons with an evidence-based approach to the most recent developments in the diagnosis and clinical management of pancreatitis. In addition to new surgical procedures such as endoscopic biliary intervention and minimally invasive necrosectomy, these advances include medical therapies, such as antiprotease, lexipafant, probiotics, and enzyme treatment.

“This book is the latest information from international experts in all of the relevant disciplines of medicine,” says Adams. “This represents the first time all of these experts have come together to share their knowledge and experience.”

MUSC will host a second international CP symposium in 2018 in Charleston, SC. International experts will exchange ideas and identify developments in the diagnosis and management of CP needed to enhance clinical effectiveness, encourage adoption by health care providers and engage patients in care. For more information, visit