In the last decade, total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) has emerged as a means for treating selected patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP). This specialized procedure, undertaken in a complex group of patients, requires a multidisciplinary team of physicians including gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, GI surgeons, behavioral medicine specialists, and others. To establish the best standard of care, representatives from these disciplines gathered in 2014 near MUSC at an international symposium organized by David B. Adams, M.D., Professor in the Department of Surgery. This event led to a July 2014 workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease in which specialists focused on research gaps and the best management of TPIAT. Common themes included the need to identify which patients best benefit from TPIAT and when to intervene with TPIAT, its current limitations, diabetes remission and the potential for improvement, opportunities to better address pain remission, GI complications, and unique features of children with CP considered for TPIAT. A summary of these discussions published in the January 2015 Annals of Surgery was co-authored by Katherine A. Morgan, M.D., Chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Surgery at MUSC. A subsequent paper also authored by Morgan (in the April 2015 Journal of the American College of Surgeons) shares the results of a study on quality of life outcomes (physical and psychological) for TPIAT patients.
As a result of this initial collaboration, pancreatic specialists from various institutions and disciplines have formed a research consortium to further explore TPIAT.
MUSC is recognized as a leading institution in the management of CP and in the research and understanding of the best application of TPIAT.