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.
Request For Applications
Seeking Computational Approaches to Identifying High Risk Populations
The Pancreatic Cancer Collective is seeking proposals utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to identify high risk pancreatic cancer populations. We are funding two projects — each to support a different approach to identifying individuals in the general population who are at high risk for pancreatic cancer much earlier than they would otherwise be diagnosed:
- High Risk Cohorts Through Real World Data: We invite submission of ideas develop a tool to prospectively identify high-risk populations for pancreatic cancer. The tool should rely on real-world data commonly collected in the community setting and must be broadly generalizable. The award will support model development and additional funding may be made available for validation of a successful model. Initial validation of the tool may be done internally and/or with other databases.
- High Risk Cohorts Through Molecular and Genetic Data: We invite submission of ideas for a project that would explore the use of deep genetic characterization of germline DNA in conjunction with phenotypic data to markedly increase the prospective identification of high-risk populations for pancreatic cancer.
Both projects should use information from existing dataset such as the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, UK Biobank, Danish National Patient Registry*, and/or other comparable datasets.
The chosen Team(s) will also be encouraged to work closely with one another and/or with existing Teams supported by Stand Up To Cancer and/or the Lustgarten Foundation. Applications will be reviewed by a Joint Scientific Advisory Committee selected by the Collective. Teams with the most promising idea submissions will be invited to attend an in-person selection meeting on January 30, 2019 in Los Angeles. The selected Teams will be awarded up to $1 million over a two-year term of the award, with second year contingent on progress in year one.
Long Island Walk a Success
Our flagship Long Island walk is approaching the million dollar mark! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the walk. It was a great day – full of hope and promise. There has never been a more hopeful time for patients, but we can’t stop now. Please keep those donations coming so we can fund even more research!
About 5,000 people attended our annual event at Jones Beach for a day of hope and celebration. When the walk first began 18 years ago, there were no survivors attending the walk. This year, there were more than 20 survivors in attendance.
Laura Polen, who was in the hospital recovering from a Whipple procedure during last year’s walk, was so happy to be able to walk with all of her family and friends this year. “It’s so inspiring to see everyone here today,” she said. “There is a great feeling of hope.”
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.