About Us

Join our fight. Help us raise $200 million and double survival by 2020.

Home About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Founded in 1999, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. In our urgent mission to save lives, we attack pancreatic cancer on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy. Our effort is amplified by a nationwide network of grassroots support. We are determined to improve patient outcomes today and to double survival by 2020.


Why We Are Relentless Trailblazers

Pancreatic cancer takes 91 percent of its victims within five years and kills more people than breast cancer in the United States.1 The disease is the third leading cause of cancer-related death, and it is projected to become the second around 2020.1,2    More than 55,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year. That’s more than 152 mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, sisters, brothers, colleagues or friends who will hear the dreaded news every single day.


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1) American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2018. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2018, SEER-9 database
2) Rahib L, et al. Projecting Cancer Incidence and Deaths to 2030: The Unexpected Burden of Thyroid, Liver, and Pancreas Cancers in the United States. Cancer Res. 2014;74

How We Fight the World’s Toughest Cancer

We have a proven track record of taking on incredible challenges and meeting our goals. We shape policy, mold opinion and firm up funding. We don’t take no for an answer.

Hope doesn’t always mean action, but action is our middle name. We are the only organization with a nationwide grassroots army, inspiring over one million people to take action to end pancreatic cancer. We serve the community as the one organization that attacks the disease through four key areas:

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The Results When We Take Action

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Our History of Achievements

From our beginning as a three-person nonprofit to our role today as a nationwide network supporting the pancreatic cancer community, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has made significant progress fighting this deadly disease. View a few of our achievements below.

  1. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network was founded by Pamela Acosta Marquardt, Paula Kim and Terry Lierman.

  2. Inaugural One Voice Against Cancer advocacy days held in Washington, D.C.

  3. 40 volunteer affiliates established nationwide who raised nearly $364,000

  4. Government Affairs & Advocacy office opens in Washington, D.C., and first international affiliate launches in Japan

  5. 25,000 patients and caregivers have been served by our call center

  6. Established the Deadliest Cancers Coalition focused on addressing policy issues related to cancers that have five-year relative survival rates below 50 percent

  7. Since 2003, we funded 66 research grants, representing a cumulative investment of approximately $10 million

  8. Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act signed into law requiring the National Cancer Institute to develop a strategic plan on how to fight pancreatic cancer

  9. Nearly 82,000 people participated in our PurpleStride, the walk to end pancreatic cancer, raising more than $10.5 million

  10. Launched Know Your Tumor ® precision medicine service that uses molecular profiling to provide patients and their doctors with information about the biology of their tumor

  11. Launched Clinical Trial Finder online tool with the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the U.S.

  12. Led the creation of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC) representing 40 pancreatic cancer advocacy groups from around the globe


Our Vision of Progress

After seeing too little progress in pancreatic cancer survival for far too long – the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits – we put a stake in the ground to double survival by 2020.

We also set a goal to raise $200 million by 2020 to ensure that we accelerate progress by carrying out a full-scale plan to overcome five key challenges:

See our full Vision for Progress


Who We Are

Our dedicated staff and passionate volunteers Wage Hope every day for a cause neglected far too long. Get to know the women and men who are leading the charge for all those impacted by this disease, including our president and CEO Julie Fleshman.

Wage Hope with Us

Wage Hope is our battle cry that expresses the spirit behind everything we do. This is not the “cross your fingers” kind of hope. It’s a hope with teeth, because there is no one way to defeat pancreatic cancer. It’s going to take an all-out effort. By working together, we will break new ground, push boundaries, change rules, command attention, empower change, and uplift lives. Join our fight. Help us raise $200 million and double survival by 2020.

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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network®, PanCAN®, PurpleStride®, Wage Hope®, Know Your Tumor®, Powerful Knowledge. Personal Treatment.®, Precision Promise℠ and Demand Better For Patients. For Survival.℠ are the trademarks of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc.


The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is registered as a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s tax identification number is #33-0841281.