Meet Julie Fleshman, President and CEO
Pancreatic Cancer Facts
Federal Funding vs. Mortality of Leading Cancer Killers
Public Figures Affected by Pancreatic Cancer
About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
In 2010, after seeing too little progress in pancreatic cancer survival in over half a century, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network put a stake in the ground with a bold and aggressive goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. To continue to accelerate progress, a goal to raise $200 million by 2020 is also in place.
Under the direction of President and CEO Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, the organization is comprised of a national Board of Directors, a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board and a staff of over 130 dedicated to fighting the disease. Headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California, we also operate a government affairs and advocacy office in Washington, D.C.
From our beginning as a three-person nonprofit to our role today as the national leader supporting the pancreatic cancer community, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network continues to Wage Hope and has made significant progress fighting this deadly disease through the programs outlined below.
We fund a nationally acclaimed Research Grants Program through a competitive, peer-reviewed process. Our goal is to build and strengthen the community of researchers focused on this disease and to fund high-priority projects that will accelerate progress toward our goal of doubling pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.
Since 2003, we have awarded 159 grants to 158 scientists at 58 institutions and our cumulative research investment is projected to be over $48.5 million to date, including our competitive Research Grants Program and internal research initiatives. In addition to providing critical funding to investigators, we offer opportunities for mentorship, networking and collaboration. Evaluations have shown that our grantees remain dedicated to pancreatic cancer, secure impressive subsequent funding and disseminate their findings through publications in top-tier journals.
In October 2016, we announced Precision Promise, the first large-scale precision medicine trial designed to transform outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer. The groundbreaking initiative will advance our goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.
Government Affairs & Advocacy
With an office in Washington, D.C., we educate elected officials about pancreatic cancer and the need to increase federal research funding dedicated to studying the disease. Approximately 80 percent of all pancreatic cancer research funding comes from the federal government, so Congressional support is critical to increasing funding and to achieving our 2020 goal of doubling survival. Our advocacy efforts have helped to increase funding for pancreatic cancer research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from just over $17 million in 1999 to approximately $125 million today, a seven-fold increase. We train volunteer advocates nationwide to take action year-round and to urge their members of Congress to support our cause. Each year, we also welcome over 600 supporters from across the country to Washington, D.C., for the annual National Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day to meet with their legislators on Capitol Hill and to deliver our message about the need for more federal resources for the fight against pancreatic cancer.
These ongoing strategic advocacy efforts have resulted in critical increases for federal biomedical research funding as well as the passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act. The landmark legislation, signed into law by President Obama in January 2013, requires the NCI to develop “scientific frameworks” (strategic plans) for our nation’s deadliest cancers, defined as those with five-year survival rates below 50 percent, starting with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and small-cell lung cancer. Since passage of the bill, the NCI has been steadily working to implement the recommendations made in the scientific frameworks. We are continuing our push to ensure that the goals of this legislation continue to be advanced, and increasing federal funding for the NCI is an important part of this strategy.
We Wage Hope with free comprehensive services individualized for every pancreatic cancer patient. We connect each patient or family member with a highly educated, expertly trained and compassionate Patient Central Associate who provides information about the disease, treatment options, clinical trials searches, diet and nutrition, Know Your Tumor personalized medicine service and much more. Contact a Patient Central Associate toll-free at (877) 272-6226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Associates are available M – F, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Pacific Time.
We mobilize an army of impassioned volunteers across the country who raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer through our signature walk/run events and DIY events by: networking in the local community, creating engagement in the media and educating elected officials about the need for increased federal research funding. Our community engagement program reaches hundreds of thousands of participants each year.
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network