Defining research priorities for pancreatic cancer in Australia: results of a consensus development process
Introduction: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the sixth leading cause of cancer death in Australia and the fourth in the United States, yet research in PC is lagging behind that in other cancers associated with a high disease burden. In the absence of agreed processes to reliably identify research areas which can deliver significant advances in PC research, the Cancer Council NSW established a strategic partnership with the NSW Pancreatic Cancer Network to define critical research issues and opportunities that could accelerate progress in this field in Australia. Materials and methods: The process consisted of five distinct stages: a literature review on recent progress in PC research, semi-structured expert interviews, a Delphi process, consumer focus groups, and a nominal group process. Information collected at each step informed the development of subsequent stages. Results: The results from these steps were refined by the nominal group into a set of seven specific pancreatic cancer research goals. The goals were disseminated and led to a new funding scheme for key PC research priorities. Discussion: This prioritisation exercise provided a much needed ‘‘road map’’ for research prioritisation in PC and served as a checklist to researchers applying for PC research grants to confirm how their research can contribute towards accelerating progress in PC research in Australia.