Press Release 1/15/10

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January 28, 2010



EL SEGUNDO – (January 28, 2010) – The following is a statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address from Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the only national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is calling for a boost in federal research funding that is sufficient to sustain the investment made through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and to allow for more research into pancreatic cancer.

“As President Obama stated, “We need to encourage American innovation.” Last year’s historic investment in basic research was an important step forward in developing new treatments for a variety of diseases. By any measure, the health of our nation is vital to its future—to its strength as a free society, its economic vitality and the quality of life of its citizens. And medical research is the key to ensuring that the nation’s health is safeguarded and improved.

“The only way to conquer one of the most lethal threats to our society—pancreatic cancer—is through targeted, sustainable research funding— the same way we made real progress with other leading cancer killers. As a start, the National Cancer Institute should increase its investment in pancreatic cancer research.

“Today, approximately 95 percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within five years. There are currently no early detection tools or effective treatments. Despite improved survival rates for many other forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer remains the only major cancer with single digit survival rates. A primary factor in this lack of progress is the fact that pancreatic cancer accounts for less than 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s research portfolio. As a result, over 42,000 Americans will be stricken with pancreatic cancer this year and 76 percent will die within the first year.

“We are particularly concerned about the increasing burden that this disease is placing on our society. The number of pancreatic cancer cases was expected to increase by 12 percent last year and pancreatic cancer incidence is expected to increase 55 percent by 2030. It is essential that we make the investments now to develop the needed tools to deal with the future.

“The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has urged President Obama and Congress to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (HR 745), comprehensive legislation that would speed the development of early detection tools, prevention and effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.

“One of the best ways to translate the President’s commitment into action is by enacting HR 745 and to significantly bolster the national investment in cancer research. Flat funding cannot be an option as it will mean little chance for innovation and progress in this devastating disease.”

About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the only national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization raises money for direct private funding of research—and advocates for more aggressive federal research funding of medical breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fills the void of information and options by giving patients and caregivers reliable, personalized information they need to make informed decisions. It creates a sense of hope and community so no one has to face pancreatic cancer alone. The organization helps support individuals and communities all across the country to work together to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.


Jennifer Rosen
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Direct: 310-706-3362


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