Navigating Pancreatic Cancer
We are here to empower you to ask bold questions, seek out the best treatment options, and face the unique challenges of pancreatic cancer head-on. We want to give you the resources and information you need to make informed decisions that are best for you.
As overwhelming as a pancreatic cancer diagnosis is, it is important to act quickly and put a treatment plan into place. Treatment should ideally begin within one month after you receive your diagnosis. Understand your disease. Thoroughly understand what stage of pancreatic cancer you have and inquire about having your blood and tumor genetically sequenced. […]
If you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a clinical trial may be your best treatment option. Many clinical trials are underway for patients in all stages of the disease and may involve new combinations of currently available drugs or new drugs that have worked in other cancers. No matter where you are in your journey, we encourage you to learn more about clinical trials.
LET’S WIN! Pancreatic Cancer A Dynamic Way to Share Information Recognizing that there is an urgent need for patients to communicate amongst themselves and with the medical community about potentially life-changing treatments and clinical trials, we are proud to be affiliated with Let’s Win. Let’s Win is an interactive online community where patients and families […]
Pancreatic Cancer Connections is online social community that provides a safe space for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones to share their experiences, get valuable coping resources, and support one another. Patients interact with others who are facing a pancreatic cancer and can post questions to the board or message other members privately. This community forum is a valuable resource for patients, caregivers, and their loved ones to refer to at various stages of their treatment and recovery.
Patients and loved ones can sign up for Pancreatic Cancer Connections at no cost and will be welcomed into an engaging and supportive community to discuss topics including treatment options, nutrition, and coping with the disease. Pancreatic Cancer Connections is hosted by Inspire, a leading healthcare social network that connects more than 1,000,000 patients and caregivers.
Let’s Win Receives FIERCE Award
Let’s Win was selected for its transformative impact on the lives of cancer patients – the LEAP it made as a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform mobilizing doctors, researchers, and patients to share fast-breaking information on promising pancreatic cancer treatments and clinical trials. The foundation is one of 10 individuals and organizations recognized with a FIERCE Award and spotlighted during the Biden Cancer Summit Welcome Reception on September 20th.
“We learned about so many brave and committed leaders devoted to helping people with cancer from the hundreds of nominations we received. It is no surprise to see so many remarkable efforts making a tremendous difference in the lives of cancer patients,” said Greg Simon, President of the Biden Cancer Initiative, an independent nonprofit organization committed to developing and driving the implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care, and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes. “It is our privilege to recognize and spotlight the individuals and organizations who epitomize what it means to be FIERCE in the face of cancer, and allow us to make hope real.”
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden are hosting the national Biden Cancer Summit in Washington, D.C. to drive the urgency of now by promoting new solutions and bringing together problem solvers in the fight against cancer. The Summit in D.C. is the flagship event of more than 350 Biden Cancer Community Summits convening throughout the day, all focused on improving the cancer journey for patients, their families, and caregivers.
“Since we created Let’s Win two years ago, we have built an interactive community to help those searching for hope in what has long been a hopeless landscape, and have enabled scientists to more quickly recruit patients for trials that may change clinical practice and save lives,” said co-founder and Science Advsiory Board Chair Allyson J. Ocean, M.D., of the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “We aim to make the science understandable and accessible online for the first time, so that the more than 53,000 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year – only eight percent of whom will live more than five years with the disease – and their caregivers can learn about potential new options.”
Let’s Win is an affiliate of the Lustgarten Foundation and works in collaboration with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. Its Scientific Advisory Board comprises world-renowned scientists and physicians leading trailblazing pancreatic cancer research.
“We are humbled and honored to be recognized by the Biden Cancer Initiative for a FIERCE Award. Let’s Win was born out of our late founder Anne Glauber’s desire to share innovative treatment options with pancreatic cancer patients who don’t have time to wait for new protocols to be approved,” said Cindy Price Gavin, Founding Executive Director. “This recognition reaffirms the need for us all to LEAP toward potential solutions to help patients in creative ways – to search for new ways around old problems, with the hope of saving more lives. Let’s Win will continue this important work in loving memory of Anne and for every pancreatic cancer patient now and in the future.”
We were so proud to be highlighted during the sixth bi-annual SU2C telecast. Patients like Lidia motivate and inspire us each and every day. The words that Katie Couric spoke were so powerful and true. Pancreatic Cancer is personal. That is why we created the Pancreatic Cancer Collective. Through our collaboration, we have funded NINE pancreatic cancer research teams. And later this fall, for the first time, we will be funding teams to use Artificial Intelligence to learn how to find pancreatic cancer at much earlier stages than it has been typically diagnosed.
Since 2012, the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer have built a robust and illustrious collaboration jointly funding more than 200 investigators across 30 leading research centers in both the United States and United Kingdom. These efforts include four of SU2C’s signature Dream Teams as well as five Research Teams, including two Convergence Teams bringing together computational experts with clinical oncologists. Cancer Interception, research supporting the earliest diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, even before the cancer may have fully formed is the focus of one of the Dream Teams and one of the Research Teams. All told, these collaborative teams have planned, started or completed 23 clinical trials. The Pancreatic Cancer Collective will build on this momentum and push the boundaries of what can be accomplished even further.
Through the Collective, we will create a dynamic and fluid network to engage and influence medical institutions, researchers, companies, aligned to achieve something bigger and more meaningful, in particular to:
- Inspire collaboration among people who haven’t worked together
- Spread funding to new centers
- Improve diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer using big data
- Find new medicines for Pancreatic Cancer
- Utilize the breadth and expertise of existing Teams and researchers supported by SU2C and the Lustgarten Foundation to support new investigators coming into the field, building expertise and capacity for additional research.
Lustgarten Labs in the Boston Herald
The Lustgarten Foundation is pleased to announce two new dedicated pancreatic cancer research laboratories through respective partnerships with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The opening of these Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratories will usher in a new era of research progress and represents an initial $10 million investment. These laboratories position the Foundation to be the only non-profit in the country to have three laboratories devoted to pancreatic cancer research.
“The addition of these two laboratories, along with our dedicated laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, will help us bring together the best science and research minds to foster and advance the goals of finding a cure for pancreatic cancer,” said David Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Director of the Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Research Laboratory, and Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
United in the shared goal of improving patient outcomes, the laboratories will increase collaboration between world-renowned pancreatic cancer researchers and explore new, promising avenues for understanding and treating this disease from the bench to the bedside. At the time the Lustgarten Foundation was established in 1998, pancreatic cancer was indeed an “orphan” disease, with fewer than 15 researchers studying pancreatic cancer nationally. Twenty years later, and with the additions of these dedicated laboratories, thousands of researchers are now focused on pancreatic cancer.
At Dana-Farber, under the leadership of Brian Wolpin, M.D., MPH, Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center, Director of the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and the Robert T. & Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer, the Dana-Farber-Lustgarten Laboratory will be a critical hub for advancing pancreatic cancer translational research, initiating scientifically-driven clinical trials, and identifying new approaches to early pancreatic cancer detection. This work will also capitalize on the large, multidisciplinary network of investigators working on pancreatic cancer at the Dana-Farber, under the umbrella of the Hale Center.
The research conducted in the Lustgarten Laboratory at Dana-Farber will focus on three main objectives:
- Study the genetic composition and functionally characterize the driver pathways of pancreatic tumors, which will lead to personalized treatment options for patients;
- Expand clinical trials for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, in which treatments are selected using organoids, or miniature 3-D tissues samples taken from a patient’s tumor;
- Organoids allow multiple drugs to be tested in real time to identify the best course of treatment for the patient; and
- Identify new blood-based and imaging markers of asymptomatic pancreatic cancer and new models for pancreatic cancer risk prediction to facilitate earlier cancer detection.
The Lustgarten Laboratory at MIT will leverage its unparalleled expertise in cancer biology and engineering to advance pancreatic cancer research. Led by Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., Director of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, Daniel K. Ludwig Scholar and David H. Koch Professor of Biology, the laboratory will examine the immune responses to the disease using molecular profiling to characterize patients’ pancreatic tumors.
The main objectives of the Lustgarten Laboratory at MIT will be to:
- Evaluate the role the immune system plays in the development of pancreatic tumors and progression of the disease to lead to better therapeutic options;
- Explore pancreatic cancer progression using single cell profiling technologies, which will provide new insights into the mechanisms of disease development as well as identify new targets for intervention;
- Reduce the time required to produce an organoid; and,
- Use organoids and mouse models with specific mutations to examine genes that may be responsible for tumor development and explore DNA manipulation through screenings to examine disease progression.
Read more in the Boston Herald.
Pancreatic Cancer News
A new treatment that kills two genes responsible for causing pancreatic cancer — one of the most fatal forms of the disease — is being hailed as a possible breakthrough.
Dr. James Cleary, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said pancreatic cancer research had been “left behind” — but not anymore.
The prevalence of pathogenic germline variants associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and limitations of current methods to determine testing eligibility may warrant universal germline genetic testing at the time of diagnosis, according to a study of a consecutive cohort.
Full genetic testing may identify actionable genetic mutations among patients who would not have been tested under current guidelines, and also may identify future cancer risks for family members.
Pancreatic cancer often spreads, forming metastases in the liver or lungs. The prognosis is better for patients with metastases in the lungs. However, the organ that is more likely to be affected depends on the cancer cells’ ability to alter their characteristics and shape – as a research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered.
Long-term pancreatic surveillance of high-risk patients identified cancers while they were still resectable, and 85% of such patients remained alive 3 years after diagnosis, researchers reported. An artist’s rendering of a body, with the pancreas shown in red. “Among individuals undergoing pancreatic surveillance, specific detectable lesions with worrisome features predicted neoplastic progression. The short-term outcomes […]
As an avid reader of obituaries, I’ve been struck by how many people these days are succumbing to pancreatic cancer, a cancer long considered rare.
And relatively speaking, it is still rare, accounting for just 3 percent of all cancers. But it is also one of the deadliest because symptoms almost never develop until the disease is advanced and incurable.
Although 55,440 cases, affecting 29,200 men and 26,240 women, are expected to be diagnosed this year in the United States, 44,330 people will die of it, often within months of diagnosis, making it the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in this country (after lung, colorectal and breast cancer). Furthermore, it is on track to become the second most deadly cancer by 2030.
Identifying certain compounds found in breath samples helped distinguish patients with pancreatic cancer from those without, according to research published in the British Journal of Surgery.
George Hanna, PhD, FRCS , of the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial College in London, and colleagues wrote the role of these volatile organic compounds (VOC) found in the breath have been studied in other cancers in the past.
Boosting the power of some cancer drugs could be as simple as modifying what you eat, according to two recent studies in mice. The results are the latest from an ongoing push to harness the body’s metabolism to fight cancer.
A study1 published on 11 July in Nature finds that supplementing mouse chow with the amino acid histidine made a chemotherapy called methotrexate more effective against leukaemia cells. Histidine, which is particularly rich in foods like meat and beans, can be given as a nutritional supplement.
A groundbreaking clinical trial on whether diet could boost the effectiveness of cancer drugs is set to be launched by one of the world’s leading oncologists.
The work, led by Siddhartha Mukherjee at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, will investigate whether a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet could improve outcomes for patients with lymphoma and endometrial cancer.