Views needed on HPB research focus

Please complete the following survey aimed at identifying research priorities in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary surgery –

This study is supported by the GBIHPBA committee.

Following the collation of round 1 responses, a further two rounds will be performed through the GBIHPBA membership for prioritisation scoring. It is hoped that the final list of prioritised research questions will inform the direction of HPB surgery over the coming years.

Contact the project lead with any queries or to request the study protocol at

HPB Delphi Steering Group
Mr Stephen Knight
Mr Samir Pathak
Mr Jonathan Rees
Mr Philip Whelan
Mr Ewen Harrison
Mr Mark Taylor

Upper Gastro-Intestinal surgeon receives major national research funding for translational science

AUGIS member, Tim Underwood, has achieved the notable accolade of becoming the first surgeon to be awarded an Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship by Cancer Research UK.

Tim, Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the University of Southampton, trained in London and Wessex. He completed a PhD in molecular biology and took an NIHR Clinical Lectureship in Surgery in 2008. In 2011, he was awarded a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship. He became a Cancer Research UK & Royal College of Surgeons of England Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellow in April 2017.

He leads a programme of research which studies the role of the tumour microenvironment in the development and progression of cancer. Other areas of interest include the metabolic regulation of gene expression in oesophageal malignancy and the influence of exercise on the response to therapy, including surgery.

The award of £1.4 million will be used to support his group’s study of cancer ecosystems. Advanced technology is used to evaluate cellular interaction in oesophageal cancer; including genome-wide expression profiling of single cells using nanolitre droplets and the generation of multicellular organoid models. Through investigation of the molecular determinants of the response to chemotherapy, Tim anticipates that new therapies which target the tumour microenvironment will be developed, enhancing the efficacy of conventional treatments. He believes that the time is right for a radical change in cancer management, with surgery being personalised to individual patients based on the specific genetics of their own tumours and the host response to cancer.

For the majority of solid organ tumours, surgery is central to the chance of a cure, yet basic scientific research relating to surgery has often been overlooked in favour of studies pertaining to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. At present, many patients do not survive despite radical multimodal therapy.

Tim anticipates that his research could improve outcomes with directed multimodal therapy in selected patients. He foresees the potential to increase the chance of cure from oesophageal cancer to 50% in selected patients. Similarly, it will identify those patients who are unlikely to survive despite being identified as potentially curable under present staging. In his words “we will operate more on fewer patients, with greater success”. In order to achieve this, cancer management will become more collective and less the responsibility of individual institutions.

The successful award is based on eight years of research. Much of this has been achieved using a collaborative approach. For example, work with the Oesophageal Cancer Clinical and Molecular Stratification (OCCAMS) consortium identified new mutational profiles of oesophageal cancerwhich will form the basis of the Southampton group’s work for the next five years.


Tim hopes that other AUGIS members will be encouraged by his award which demonstrates that there can be high-level support for surgeons who have an interest in basic and translational science.

An exciting Scientific Programme lined up for Cork

The BJS Speaker at the Cork meeting in September will be Professor Richard Van Hillegersberg from the University Medical Centre Utrecht.

Professor Nigel Heaton, Head of Liver Transplantation at King’s College Hospital and Professor John Reynolds, Professor of Clinical Surgery at St James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, will also be presenting.

Amongst other speakers, Mr Marc Besselink, an HPB surgeon based the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam will be joining Ireland-based laparoscopic and bariatric consultant surgeon Mr Colm O’Boyle.

The Scientific Programme promises to be an exciting one – join us in Cork!



Getting ready for Cork 2017!

AUGIS members should start to plan their to journey to Cork for the 20th AUGIS Annual Scientific Meeting which will be be held at the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork from 21 – 22 September.

Take a look at the Microsite for more information.

Registration is open and we are happy to be able to offer our members the same registration rates as our 2014 meeting.

The AUGIS Gala Dinner will be a ticketed event and will be held at the Cork City Gaol and there will be a limited number of places available.

  • To register now for the meeting please visit:
  • Don’t forget to also submit your abstractsbefore the closing date for submission of abstracts: 9am on Monday, 26 June.

    Submitted abstracts will be considered for either poster presentation, the plenary short paper session for the BJS prize, or the parallel paper sessions for OG, Bariatric and HPB topics.Successful authors will be notified by Wednesday, 12 July.

    We would also encourage you to book your accommodationto attend the AUGIS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting in Cork as soon as possible to ensure you get the accommodation you require and benefit from the best rates. You can book accommodation via MICE Concierge. Finally, if you are travelling to Cork from the UK, we recommend that you book your flight as soon as possible to benefit from lower rates.

Please contact Nichola Bartlett in the AUGIS office if you have any questions.


Clinical Services and Audit

In conjunction with the RCS (Eng), AUGIS has developed guidelines for commissioning services for gallstone and reflux diseases and these were reviewed in the last year. Their aim is to indicate to Commissioners how high-quality services should be configured.

Clinical guidelines to aid surgeons involved with the emergency management of gallstone disease were also published. AUGIS recognises that the majority of surgeons who provide emergency general care are not HPB specialists, nor do they have specialist HPB advice on-site. The intention of the guidance is to support emergency surgeons in managing this sometimes challenging patient group.

AUGIS has been involved with other work regarding emergency surgery. A statement concerning the future of Emergency General Surgery has been produced in conjunction with the ACPGBI and the ASGBI. It provides a consensus on the development of the emergency service and recommends which surgeons should deliver it and how they should be trained.