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Lives Through Early Detection

No one is ever fully prepared to face a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, but in Scott Nelson’s case, the prognosis was devastating; the size and location of his tumor made it inoperable. Feelings of shock, disbelief and anger flooded this loving father’s mind as he thought about his three daughters—and their eventual life without him. But another feeling arose within Scott: determination. He sought a second opinion and joined a clinical trial using a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation. The combined treatment worked to shrink Scott’s tumor so he could then undergo life-saving surgery. Scott has now been disease-free for 15 years, grateful for the countless memories and milestones he’s experienced with his family and committed to advocating for other patients and supporting early detection research.

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Identifying Patients With Pancreatic Cancer Likely to Respond

The presence of either germline or somatic mutations that encode proteins involved in a form of DNA repair known as homologous recombination (HR) identifies patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who are going to respond best to first-line (1L) platinum therapy, new research shows.

From 5% to 9% of patients with pancreatic cancer harbor germline or somatic mutations in the core HR genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2).

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New Funding Opportunity

The intent of this program is to support pancreatic cancer research critical to advancing our understanding of pancreatic cancer initiation, progression and the development of new therapies in four areas of focus: Desmoplastic Stroma, Chronic Inflammation, Metabolic Dysregulation,Early Metastasis

Candidates must be nominated by their institution prior to submission (limit one nomination per institution), and submit a 2 page Letter of Intent (LOI) by June 30. The LOI must include a letter of support from the institute director, detailing the rationale for the nomination and qualifications of the investigator. Despite considerable advances in our understanding of pancreatic cancer initiation and progression, development of new therapies and significant changes to treatment and outcomes lag behind. Improved understanding of the biology underlying pancreatic cancer should lead to the identification of new dependencies that are therapeutically tractable.

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“We had to
be strong, we had
to fight.”

Lauren La Femina knows one thing for certain: When pancreatic cancer strikes anyone in the family, nothing is ever the same. And when that person is your mother, the world can feel as if it has suddenly collapsed around you.

Lauren was just 26 and thriving in her career when she learned her mother, Lucille, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “I was blindsided and utterly devastated, and my mother wanted to give up the fight even before she started,” shared Lauren, recalling the pain of the moment. “You automatically think the worst—but I knew we had to stop crying, we had to be strong, we had to fight.”

Logistics, treatment, depression, nutrition, pain management—Lauren managed it all, drawing strength and resilience from her mother and the support of a group of committed family members and friends. Lucille bravely faced a complex Whipple surgery and 10 rounds of chemotherapy, and Lauren—her fiercest champion and tireless advocate—never left her mom’s side. Today, Lucille’s scans show she is cancer-free.

Lucille’s experience with pancreatic cancer has made Lauren an ardent supporter of the Lustgarten Foundation, participating in the Foundation’s walk program and raising thousands of dollars to advance innovative pancreatic cancer research. “More needs to be done to figure out how to prevent the disease and how to cure more patients,” said Lauren. “The Lustgarten Foundation is leading the charge and that means everything to patients and caregivers who have the toughest job of all—getting through a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.”

In recognition of Mother’s Day, and in honor of Lucille, Lauren and all of the women touched by pancreatic cancer, please donate to help the Lustgarten Foundation fund the world’s most transformative research. With your support, promising breakthroughs are within reach.

100 percent of your donation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research, thanks to separate funding to support administrative expenses.

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Join us now through Tuesday, May 5, when nonprofits around the world come together for #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity in response to COVID-19. Here at the Lustgarten Foundation, we are as committed as ever to protecting and servicing pancreatic cancer patients—a group that is especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

In honor of #GivingTuesdayNow, please support our relentless researchers who are working as tirelessly as ever to find novel treatments and pursue new methods for early detection, even in the midst of this broader healthcare emergency. Your contribution—no matter the size—will help ensure our research continues at an accelerated pace, enabling pancreatic cancer patients to participate in clinical trials, benefit from new therapies and one day have access to a cure.

Many employers will also match employees’ charitable contributions. Please contact your human resources and/or payroll department for specific information about your company’s policies.

Please also consider joining Partners in Progress, a dedicated group of supporters who generously choose to make a monthly gift to the Lustgarten Foundation.

You can give with confidence, as 100 percent of all donations go directly to pancreatic cancer research.

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HOPE From Home

Pancreatic cancer can’t wait—and neither can we.

It’s safe to assume the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on everyone. Almost overnight, we’ve all had to make dramatic transitions to cope with this new reality and to protect ourselves and our communities. Added to that are the very real concerns about the impact COVID-19 will have on those battling pancreatic cancer. We’ve heard from many of you who want to remain engaged with and to help the pancreatic cancer community, so we’ve launched a new opportunity for you to provide the entire Lustgarten family with a little bit of HOPE

“HOPE From Home” is designed to provide you, our valued supporters, a variety of opportunities to support our mission even while social distancing at home. Your participation can help us raise critical funds for pancreatic cancer research and awareness about this dreaded disease. You can show your neighborhood, community and on-line network that pancreatic cancer can’t wait—and neither can we.

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Our Response to COVID-19

How Lustgarten is Responding to COVID-19

A letter from the CEO

Hi and thank you for checking in with the Lustgarten Foundation to learn more about our response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Seemingly overnight, COVID-19 has dramatically changed the world in which we live. I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are well.

We at the Lustgarten Foundation are doing our best to follow the CDC guidelines, practice social distancing and to help flatten the curve. As of Tuesday, March 17, all staff are working remotely, but we are staying in touch with one another and continue to be here for you. Though images from major cities and small towns across the country almost make it feel that life has stopped, we know the fight against pancreatic cancer cannot wait.

For now, we have postponed or cancelled all events through the end of May—if you were already registered for one of these events, you should have received an email with everything you need to know. If you missed the email or are just now considering registering for an event, we’ve posted all the details below. Of course, if you have questions about pancreatic cancer, fundraising, walks or anything else, please get in touch. Call us tollfree at 866-789-1000 or send an email to We check the messages daily and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.

To keep up with the latest pancreatic cancer research information and Lustgarten Foundation activities, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

We know this is a difficult and uncertain time, and we also know we will get through this together. Please follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider and practice social distancing as much as possible (but remember, Skype and FaceTime are great options to keep you connected with friends and family) and stay healthy and safe.



Kerri Kaplan,
President and CEO

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Find a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials hold the promise of discovering new treatments and will bring us even closer to a cure. In fact, today patients are living longer from successful pancreatic cancer treatments, as a direct result of past clinical trials. If you have pancreatic cancer, a clinical trial may be your best option. Speak with your doctor to find out if a clinical trial might be right for you.

Our Lustgarten and Let’s Win Clinical Trial Matching Service provides free and unlimited access to current, verified clinical trial information through our partner, Emerging Med. Patients and their loved ones can call 1-800-535-1867 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.ET to speak with a Clinical Trial Navigator.

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Double Your Impact

Gifts made by Midnight on December 31, 2019 will be matched dollar for dollar!

Clinical trials are critical to scientific breakthroughs and hold the promise of increasing patients’ quality of life, improving outcomes, and giving patients and their families more time together. Lustgarten-funded trials could one day lead to new treatment options and a potential cure for patients like Charlie, a patient who has undergone surgery and other treatments.


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Double Your Donation!

Imagine a world with a cure for pancreatic cancer.

Now imagine you have the power to make that dream a reality — because you do!
Thanks to a generous $175,000 match, it’s easier than ever to make a difference on #GIVINGTUESDAY.

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Pancreatic Cancer News

Ipsen scores FDA fast-track for Onivyde in first-line pancreatic cancer

19. 6. 20 ladmin

The FDA designation will review the use of Onivyde (liposomal irinotecan) in combination with 5- fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV) and oxaliplatin (OX), also known as Nalirifox, in patients with previously untreated, unresectable, locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The fast-track programme aids the development and also expedites the review of drugs that are designed to treat serious […]

Researchers find a new therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer

18. 6. 20 ladmin

The development of pancreatic cancer is driven by co-existing mutations in an oncogene involved in controlling cell growth, called KRAS, and in a tumor suppressor gene, called p53. But how these mutations cooperate to promote cancer is unknown. A new study co-led by Steven Leach, MD, Director of Dartmouth’s and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center […]

Research points to potential new treatment for pancreatic cancer

8. 6. 20 ladmin

As the next step in finding a potential targeted treatment for pancreatic cancer, researchers at the University of Cincinnati are publishing a new study revealing how a combination therapy may improve outcomes for patients with this disease. The study, led by graduate research assistant Kombo N’Guessan, Ph.D., and Xiaoyang Qi, Ph.D., professor in the Division […]

Revealed: How cancer develops resistance to treatment

5. 6. 20 ladmin

Cancer cells can turn on error-prone DNA copy pathways to adapt to cancer treatment, a breakthrough study published in the journal Science has revealed. Bacteria use the same process, termed stress-induced mutagenesis, to develop antibiotic resistance. The cells of the human body are constantly dividing, and each time need to copy a three billion-letter DNA […]

Identifying Patients With Pancreatic Cancer Likely to Respond

2. 6. 20 ladmin

The presence of either germline or somatic mutations that encode proteins involved in a form of DNA repair known as homologous recombination (HR) identifies patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who are going to respond best to first-line (1L) platinum therapy, new research shows. From 5% to 9% of patients with pancreatic cancer harbor germline or somatic mutations […]

Chemotherapy prior to surgery may help outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer

20. 5. 20 ladmin

A clinical trial led by researchers from the University of Cincinnati has found that one-third of patients receiving chemotherapy before surgery for pancreatic cancer had very encouraging results at the time of the procedure. The results of this National Cancer Institute’s SWOG Cancer Research Network trial will be presented as part of the ASCO20 Virtual […]

Why pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is so lethal

19. 5. 20 ladmin

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a deadly cancer, killing patients within a year. CSHL Professor Christopher Vakoc and his former postdoc Timothy Somerville discovered how pancreatic cells lose their identity, acquire a deadly new identity, and recruit nearby cells to help them grow, promote inflammation, and invade nearby tissues. This understanding could lead to new therapies […]

Another Step Towards Earlier Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

23. 4. 20 ladmin

— Risk-prediction model uses biomarkers added to clinical and genetic risk factors A risk-prediction model combining genetic and clinical factors with circulating biomarkers can identify people at notably higher than normal risk of pancreatic cancer who could benefit from screening and early detection, a U.S. nested case-control analysis suggested. The study’s final integration of three […]

COVID-19 and Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials

20. 4. 20 ladmin

Like every other aspect of life at this time, pancreatic cancer treatment and research has been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The very same scientists that work to develop better treatments and earlier detection are faced with new obstacles. This very contagious virus is affecting clinical trials and research in a number of ways. COVID-19 […]

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