ARIEL Precision Medicine

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Online CME . . . Physicians

Acute Pancreatitis (UPMC)
Severe Acute Pancreatitis (UPMC)
Systemic Inflammation Gone Wrong (PancreasFest)
Nutrition in Acute Pancreatitis (UPMC)
Obesity Risk of Severity in Acute Pancreatitis (UPMC)

Recommendations from


The Guidance statements from are now published in Pancreatology

NEW–>  “Mechanism, assessment and management of pain in chronic pancreatitis: Recommendations of a multidisciplinary study group“. Results of a three year study of pancreatitis pain published in 2016.  (Click here)

Detection, evaluation and treatment of diabetes mellitus in chronic pancreatitis: Recommendations from PancreasFest 2012“.  These specifically address issues surrounding when and how to screen for diabetes, including Type 3c (pancreatogenic diabetes).(Click here for Abstract).

Total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation in chronic pancreatitis: Recommendations from PancreasFest” These recommendations guid physicians in the evaluation and management of patients before, and after TPIAT. Click here for Abstract

Pancreas Research and Education Updates

September 4th, 2017

Pancreas Academy!  

July 26, 2017.  The second “Pancreas Academy”  was immediately before PancreasFest 2017.  the program was sponsored by The Collaborative Alliance For Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER).  The course was a one-day PRIMER course on pancreatic anatomy, physiology, diseases and management.  The course was designed for professionals who want to learn more on the core issues of pancreatic disease from many of the world’s experts.  See information at CAPER – Pancreas Academy.

CAPER Lifetime Achievement and Mentoring Award

Vay Liang W [Bill] Go MD received the 2017 CAPER Lifetime Achievement and Mentoring Award (Figure.  Professor Go receiving the award from CAPER President Georgios Papachristou MD PhD amid a prolonged standing ovation).   Prof. Go served in many national leadership positions at the NIH and as Chair of Medicine at UCLS. He is the founding editor of Pancreas, one of the leading journals for pancreatic disease.  He was accompanied by his wife, and a number of his trainees and colleagues.  Prof. Go has supported PancreasFest and CAPER from years, and was a unanimous choice for this years award.

PancreasFest 2017 proved to be one of the best meets ever.   Held in Pittsburgh, PA for physicians, scientists and other professionals, the program was attended by over 200 delegates and featured hard-core science, translational presentations and opportunities for major clinical trials to be organized.  The program highlighted sessions on the mechanisms of acute pancreatitis, featuring two state-of-the-art lectures by Joe G. N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, from the University of Arizona, followed by multiple working sessions featuring APPRENTICE.

  • The Ruth C. Brufsky Award for Excellence in Research in Pancreatic Cancer was awarded to John Neoptolemos MD.
  • The Professor’s Prospective Plenary Lecture was give by Virginia Stallings, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, on “Biomarkers and Test of Pancreatic Function”

Translational presentations on chronic pancreatitis included an introductory lecture on on Understanding Mechanisms Driving CP Progression by Stephen Pandol, MD followed by lectures on Calcium Dysregulation in Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis by Guy Groblewski, PhD Oxidative Stress in Non-Alcoholic Chronic Pancreatitis Pramod Garg, MD, DM (Figure),  and a talk on Protein Response in Pancreas Disease by Jeffrey Brodsky, PhD

An Advanced Endoscopy & Pancreatic Surgery session featured special lectures and discussion by Ali Siddiqui, MD, Mouen Khashab, MD, a special lecture on “A Pioneer’s Experience with Minimally Invasive Pancreas Resections” by Michael Kendrick, MD and a presentation on linking surgical performance to patient outcomes by Melissa Hogg, MD.

PancreasFest 2018 is being planned!


NIDDK Workshop – @ pancreasfest – FREE

The annual NIDDK Workshop on needs and opportunities will be held on July 26, 2017.  The focus was on on EUS.  The program was a major success.  See Pancreas Nov 2017 for a summary.  For information see NIH Workshop.

Winter PEaRL

The Pancreas Education and Research Letter (PEaRL) is out in time for Christmas! See the special Kid’s Corner where Celeste Shelton provide important information on how to build your family tree – the health care way! A report on important PancreasFest 2016 activities is updated, as well as an announcement on PancreasFest 2017. Click here [PEaRL] to download. If you want to be on the mailing list for PEaRL, send a request to

Previous PEaRLs – PEaRL Page

Hereditary Pancreatitis Study:

A research team has developed a new health survey to answer these questions and to inform genetic counselors. They are asking past participants, as well as individuals with a personal or family history of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, to help us by completing this survey. It can be completed in 15 minutes. The survey can be accessed at:

More instructions and information are available at this link. They are also asking participants if they are willing to provide updates to their personal and family medical information in a 10 minute phone conversation.

For additional information or questions, please contact Celeste Shelton, MS by calling 412-864-2826 or our toll-free number at 1-888 PITT-DNA/1-888-748-8362, or by email at

The study is IRB approved. Participation in this study is completely voluntary.

New CMS Code for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

One of the problems faced by physicians and scientist caring for patients with pancreatic diseases is the limited options for documentation and billing using administrative codes such as ICD-9 and ICD-10.   In the latest CMS ICD-10CM 2017 release a new code has been added for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.  The code fall under “Other specified diseases of pancreas”(K86.8) as “Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency” (K86.81).  The other code under K86.8 is K86.89 “Other specified diseases of the pancreas” (aseptic pancreatic necrosis unrelated to acute pancreatitis, atrophy of pancreas, calculus of pancreas, cirrhosis of pancreas, fibrosis of pancreas, pancreatic fat necrosis unrelated to acute pancreatitis, pancreatic infantilism and pancreatic necrosis NOS unrelated to acute pancreatitis)

NEW Mechanistic definition of Chronic Pancreatitis.

The President of the European Pancreas Club in 2014, Professor Colin D. Johnson MD, commissioned Dr David C Whitcomb MD PhD to lead the development of a consensus definition of chronic pancreatitis, and diagnostic criteria.  The results began with the publication of a “mechanistic” definition of chronic pancreatitis, developed by leading experts from Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and the United States.  The definition is critical for the accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment of various pancreatic diseases.  The two parts of the definition include the “essence” and the “characteristics”

Essence – “Chronic pancreatitis is a pathologic fibro-inflammatory syndrome of the pancreas in individuals with genetic, environmental and/or other risk factors who develop persistent pathologic responses to parenchymal injury or stress”.

Characteristics – “Common features of established and advanced CP include pancreatic atrophy, fibrosis, pain syndromes, duct distortion and strictures, calcifications, pancreatic exocrine dysfunction, pancreatic endocrine dysfunction and dysplasia.”

The publication of the article in Pancreatology (the official journal of the International Association of Pancreatology) has triggered international debated and general acceptance (see below).

A video presentation of the concepts is provided here, with discussion on the official Pancreatology web site (

European Pancreas Club (EPC) and PancreasFest delegates Approve “Mechanistic Definition of Chronic Pancreatitis”

July 9, 2016.   The EPC, in conjunction with leaders of the International Association of scientist (IAP), the Japanese Pancreas Society (JPS) and the American Pancreatic Association (APA) are working to develop an international consensus on the the definition and diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis (CP).  This action is necessary because the older definitions were developed before a number of research and conceptual breakthroughs, and because of some conflicting recommendations among local, regional, national and societal recommendations.

July 26, 2016.  The PancreasFest attendees reviewed the new two-part mechanistic definition of chronic pancreatitis and voted to adopt the recommended definition and conceptual model.

The process of developing a consensus definition of CP, which was completed after two years of discussion, and publish in spring 2016 (see Pancreatology. 2016 Mar-Apr;16(2):218-24).  On July 9, 2016, in a special session, physicians and scientists attending the EPC meeting debated and then approved the new Mechanistic Definition, as published earlier this year.

Further work on Genetics, and on Pain are discussed at PancreasFest 2016 (see below), with definition and diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis discussed at the IAP meeting in Sendai Japan (August 2016).

PancreasFest 2017 – July 26-28, 2017, Pittsburgh, PA

Example Schedule from PF16 (Click here)

  • Check for updates on

NIDDK Workshops Linked To PancreasFest!

The NIDDK continues to sponsor high-impact workshops linked to PancreasFest.   See the 2016 event, “Chronic Pancreatitis in the 21st Century: Research Challenges and Opportunities”.  July 27, 2016.  University Club, Pittsburgh, PA.  (PancreasFest July 27-29, 2016).

The proceedings from the 2016 Workshop will be published in the November issue of Pancreatology (with and editorial).  Watch for an NEW Workshop at PancreasFest 2017.

Final 2016 Program  <–Click here

CME Lecture – CFTR Mutations and the Pancreas.

Lecture by David C Whitcomb MD PhD.  (Link to UPMC CME)

NIDDK-NCI Fund New Pancreas Research Program

New Consortium to Study Chronic  Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer (CSCPDPC)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support research into complex pancreatic diseases through the NIDDK and NCI.  The research leaders (principal investigators) and institutions include:

The Clinical Centers:

  • UC, ALIYE (University of Iowa)
  • PANDOL, STEPHEN J (Cedars Sinai LA)
  • CHARI, SURESH T. (Mayo Clinic)
  • PARK, WALYTER GWANG-UP (Stanford University)
  • FISHER, WILLIAM E (Baylor University)
  • FOGEL,EVANS (Indiana University)
  • FORSMARK, CHRISTOPHER E (University of Florida)
  • VAN DEN EEDEN, STEHPEHEN (Kaiser Foundation)
  • CONWELL, DARWIN LEWIS (Ohio State University)
  • WHITCOMB, DAVID Clement (University of Pittsburgh)

The Data Coordination and Management center:

  • FENG,ZIDING (University of Texas-MD Anderson )

Pancreas Meetings: 2017

  • A list of pancreas meetings is being compiled for 2017 – Sent links to these meetings to “
  • List of 2015-2016 <Meetings>.

Genetic Risk of Pancreatic Cancer:  Celeste Shelton, with Drs Whitcomb and Brand, provide a technical review of the risk of pancreatic cancer in Gastroentology (2015).

CAPER – Web site updated

News about the Collaboative Alliance for Pancreas Education and Research

Log on for CAPER research webinars / APPRENTICE  –

CME Program on Chronic Pancreatitis

Drs Whitcomb & Forsmark discuss advances in science that translate into better treatment of chronic pancreatitis.


CME credit for physicians

YouTube Favorite 

(click on image to open a new page)

PRSS1 – Website.

A mutation web site provides information on the functional consequence of various cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1) mutations. The site is maintained by Dr. Miklos Sahin-Toth. Click here to visit.

Personalized approaches to treatment of Pancreatitis.


David Whitcomb MD PhD and Adam Slivka MD PhD discuss the advances in the treatment of pancreatitis using genetics. (View of the Whitcomb lab, University of Pittsburgh)

PEaRL .:. Pancreatitis Education and Research Letter

PEaRL news letter page – See “Patient Information” link above

previous PEaRLs PEaRL Page

Pancreas Eduction and Research News (PEARL)