The History of the EPC


The European Pancreatic Club (EPC) was founded during a first symposium on December 9 and 10, 1965 in London (President H.T. Howat). The nine founding members were one biochemist (Jean Christophe, Belgium), one physiologist (Alfred A. Harper, UK), two surgeons (André Delcourt, Belgium, Yngve Edlund, Norway) and five physicians with special interest in the pancreas (Werner Creutzfeldt, Germany, Oliver Fitzgerald, Ireland, Karel Herfort, Czechoslovakia, Henry T. Howat, UK, Henri Sarles, France). It was the world’s first scientific society dedicated to the study of the pancreas.

The idea was to bring basic scientists and clinicians together in an informal atmosphere to promote friendship and communication on research between them. The 2nd symposium was held in Marseilles in1967 (President H. Sarles). Up to the time of writing annual meetings have been held almost every year; the 2005 meeting was the 37th. In 1973 the EPC decided to lay down ‘Internal Rules’ and in 1992 new statutes were introduced. It became a member of the United European Gastroenterology Federation (UEGF) and is coorganizer of the United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW). The official journal has been Pancreatology since 2001; previously the abstracts had been printed in  Digestion since 1982. The officers of the EPC are the President, the Past President, the President Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer and eight Councillors from different European countries, four from basic and four from clinical science.

At the meetings on average 150 contributions are accepted for presentation; the abstracts are printed in  Pancreatology . Papers come from nearly all European countries and from overseas. In total 4,837 scientific presentations were made from 1971 to 2004. In the same period there have been 245 invited and “state of the art” lectures.  Since 1991 meetings have included a “Young Researchers” Corner”.  This event, given by international experts is especially designed to give information on new techniques of research.
The European Study Group of Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC) and the European Registry of Hereditary Pancreatitis and Familial Pancreatic Cancer (EUROPAC) are affiliated with the EPC.