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.
A Perfect Score
We are proud to report that out of the 901 health related charities evaluated by Charity Navigator, the leading nonprofit watchdog organization, the Lustgarten Foundation is one of only eight that received a perfect score of 100. According to Charity Navigator: The exceptional charities on this list execute their missions in a fiscally responsible way while adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities. Each has earned perfect scores for its Financial Health and its Accountability & Transparency. Those two scores then translate into a perfect 100 point overall score.
Nobel Prize Ceremony
What a thrill to learn last fall that Drs. James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their pre-eminent work in cancer immunology. It was a privilege to attend this iconic event and represent the Lustgarten Foundation.
Cancer immunology has been a game changer for some patients including Lustgarten Foundation Corporate Advisory Board Honorary Chairperson Former President Jimmy Carter (and winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize). Several years ago, metastatic melanoma like President Carter’s would have been untreatable¬. President Carter, who was diagnosed more than three years ago, benefitted from a relatively new approach at the time that combined immunotherapy and radiation. Three months after receiving this treatment combination , he found out that his tumors were gone.
Dr. Honjo’s discovery of PD-1 paved the way for utilizing this protein as a target in the treatment of patients. Results have been dramatic in patients like President Carter, leading to long-term remission and possible cures in several patients with metastatic cancer, which had previously been considered untreatable.
In an unprecedented, fast-tracked review in 2017, the FDA approved Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) as the first PD-1 blockade immunotherapy treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer patients whose tumors have a unique genetic mutation called mismatch repair deficiency. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 50 advanced pancreatic cancer patients has tumors that are mismatch repair deficient, making them candidates for this type of therapy. These patients, whose tumors were not responding to standard of care therapies, have reported significant responses to Keytruda®. The Lustgarten Foundation played a critical role in bringing this new treatment to patients by helping to fund the research, encouraging patients to get tested, and funding patients’ testing to determine if their tumors are mismatch repair deficient.
Clinical Trial Awareness Month
Did you know that January is Clinical Trial Awareness Month? Clinical trials are important research studies that can help assess if current treatment options are sufficient or if there are better options for patients than what is currently available.
While fewer than five percent of pancreatic cancer patients enroll in clinical trials, there are always new trials on the horizon that may lead to a viable treatment option for patients. We encourage all pancreatic cancer patients to discuss enrolling in a clinical trial with their oncology team to see if one might be a good fit for them. There is also lots of helpful information on our website where you can learn more about finding a clinical trial, the phases of a clinical trial, and how to enroll in one.
Pancreatic Cancer News
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A new approach to pancreatic cancer screening may help doctors detect the disease in people at high risk before it reaches more advanced and difficult-to treat stages. A team led by Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) scientists has developed a new, simple blood test that, when combined with an existing test, detects nearly 70 percent […]
A new study from a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team has found that the hypertension drug losartan, which targets the angiotensin signaling pathway, may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents used to treat ovarian cancer. Previous research from the same team identified a similar effect for losartan in animal models of breast and pancreatic cancer, […]
Researchers have identified a new potential immunotherapy target in pancreatic cancer, which so far has been notoriously resistant to treatment with immune checkpoint blockade drugs effective against a variety of other cancers. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center research team found overexpression of the immune checkpoint VISTA on immune cells, especially macrophages, that […]
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the life histories of breast and pancreatic cancers. The grant is part of the NIH’s Human Tumor Atlas Network, a large-scale effort to understand the life span of tumors, including how normal […]
The cancer rate in the United States dropped continuously over a 25-year period, representing a 27 percent decline, according to a study published Tuesday. The study from the American Cancer Society found there were approximately 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths in the U.S. since reaching a peak of 215 deaths per 100,000 people. The most […]
Patients with early stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) may not benefit from adjuvant therapy after surgery if the tumor is smaller than 1 cm, according to a retrospective analysis publishedin Cancer. Although the study indicates a change in the standard of care may be necessary for patients with particularly small tumors, additional studies are needed to validate […]
Researchers are testing the use of a procedure that uses stereotactic MRI imaging to guide treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. The initiative was announced by ViewRay, a Cleveland-based vendor that manufacturers the radiation therapy system used to deliver the system that enables precise treatment of cancer patients through the use of advanced imaging technology.The company […]
Nowadays ‘liquid biopsies,’ the notion of detecting cancer using only a blood test to detect minute amounts of circulating tumor are fairly well-known. But what if not even a blood test was needed to detect cancer, merely a few lungfuls of air? A new clinical trial in the U.K. is aiming to find out whether […]
If you or a loved-one are going under the knife anytime soon, scientists suggest thinking about walking a couple miles every day or eating more greens leading up to your procedure. According to a new study conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine, “Pre-hab” is the new “rehab.” Dr. Venu Pillarisetty, associate professor of surgery at […]
Although the use of intravenous vitamin C by those with a diagnosis of cancer is considered, by traditional medicine, an ineffective and possibly dangerous therapy, there is accumulating medical research that intravenous vitamin C may improve outcomes. A recent medical study evaluating the effect of adding intravenous vitamin C during chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer demonstrated […]