Position Papers and Reports
Journal of Clinical Oncology Publishes Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Overview of Clinical Trials in the U.S.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network recently conducted a research study on the landscape of pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the U.S. The study was published this month in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Papers published in JCO must undergo a rigorous review process before they are released to be read by cancer physicians throughout the world.
Under the leadership of Lynn Matrisian, PhD, Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the organization conducted a careful analysis of pancreatic cancer clinical trials in order to better understand how to accelerate clinical progress against pancreatic cancer and achieve the organization’s goal to double the survival rate by 2020. The clinical trial analysis was made possible by a comprehensive, proprietary database of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the country that is maintained by the organization’s Patient and Liaison Services (PALS) program. The results of the study indicate that pancreatic cancer trials that were open in 2011 would require 6.7 years on average to complete enrollment, a longer timeframe than what is ideal to make rapid progress in this disease.
The study found that even though slightly more pancreatic cancer patients participate in clinical trials than in other adult cancer trials nationwide (4.57 percent vs. 3 percent), a much higher enrollment is needed to answer important questions in a shorter timeframe to advance new treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network encourages all patients to consider clinical trials when exploring treatment options at all stages of their disease and each time a treatment decision is made. Each person who contacts the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Patient and Liaison Services (PALS) program for help is offered a personalized clinical trial search. In a recent follow-up survey, more than 10 percent of respondents went on to enroll in a clinical trial.
In conjunction with the publication of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s research study, JCO also published an editorial written by James Doroshow, MD, Deputy Director of Clinical and Translational Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Doroshow called for a “substantively renewed effort to increase clinical trial support levels, thus helping to fulfill the unfulfilled priority of rapid clinical trial accrual.”
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is dedicated to continuing to educate patients and families about clinical trials, work closely with the medical and scientific research communities to address the national coordination issues, develop strategies that address the challenges identified in this research study and reach our goal of doubling the survival rate by 2020.