About Us

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.


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 56,770 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year.1 That’s more than 155 mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, colleagues or friends who will hear the dreaded news every single day.1


Get the Full Story

1) American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2019. Atlanta: American Cancer Society.
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:

The Results When We Take Action

View Our Financials


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

  13. Thanks to the actions of thousands of PanCAN advocates, Congress approved the second $2 billion increase in a row for the NIH in FY17. Plus, $60 million in funding was approved for the DoD’s Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program.

  14. PanCAN received an unprecedented $25 million gift – the largest donation in the history of the organization – to honor the memory of Skip Viragh, one of the country’s most influential mutual fund investment experts.

  15. Precision Promise launches as the first adaptive clinical trial platform for pancreatic cancer patients in the world.



Who We Are

Our dedicated staff and passionate volunteers take action 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.

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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.