Hopes were high in 1971 when President Nixon declared a war against cancer. As demonstrated in the film Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies, there have been many ups and downs in this fight. Throughout history, there has been an army of people trying to understand and fight cancer. With that, each year brings more clarity in this fight.
One theme remains consistent throughout the film – just how critical clinical trials are to improving the treatment landscape for cancer. With limited treatment options, this is absolutely vital for pancreatic cancer. It is imperative that all pancreatic cancer patients consider clinical trials when exploring treatment options.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network offers customized clinical trials searches through its patient services. You can learn more here. While the national average for pancreatic cancer clinical trial enrollment is 4.5 percent, 14 percent of patients who use our service enroll in a trial. Participation could have a positive impact on their treatment, and will create a legacy that will help speed scientific progress toward therapeutic breakthroughs.
The film also reiterates the excitement around immunotherapy and targeted therapy, and their potential for advancing scientific and medical breakthroughs. These are both areas of focus in our Research Grants Program and through our Know Your Tumor initiative. We will soon be announcing another $6 million in research grants to support these and other high priority areas of research.
Our country has witnessed important scientific and clinical advances that have led to significant improvements in survival, most notably in breast cancer. It wasn’t an easy road, but breast cancer patients and advocates demanded more and remained steadfast in their determination to ensure more women survived this disease.
We must – and are doing the same for pancreatic cancer. In a short time, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has made a significant impact in the fight against pancreatic cancer. We are relentless. And with your support we will reach our goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.
To those who refuse to surrender, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the organization bold enough to rewrite the book on how to fight a deadly disease. Wage Hope with us so that we reach our 2020 goal!
Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA is the president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network