|[January 22, 2013]
The Lustgarten Foundation Awards $25 Million to Accelerate the Rate of Pancreatic Cancer Research
BETHPAGE, N.Y. --(Business Wire)--
The Lustgarten Foundation, the nation's largest private funder of
pancreatic cancer research, today announced that it has awarded $25
million in new multi-year research grants. The research initiatives and
clinical trials are focused primarily on developing early detection
methods and better therapeutic options, and testing them with patients.
"The Lustgarten Foundation is contributing this significant funding to
accelerate the movement of successful research results from the lab into
clinical trials, so we can directly impact the treatment of individuals
with pancreatic cancer and develop life-saving tests and more effective
therapies," said Dr. David Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D., director of research
for The Lustgarten Foundation. "Pancreatic cancer is the nation's most
lethal cancer and, unlike other cancers, death rates are unfortunately
on the rise. The urgent need for additional funding and a scientific
framework for action were even recognized by Congress and President
Barack Obama when they passed and signed into law the Recalcitrant
Cancer Research Act. We look forward to working with the National Cancer
Institute on further progress in this area."
The new grants will support important research advancements at 18
world-renowned scientific and medical institutions, including Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine, The David H. Koch Institute for
Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cold
Spring Harbor Laboratory. Part of this funding will go toward several
new clinical trials to test ways of detecting the disease earlier, which
is a critical area of research since there are no early detection tests
for pancreatic cancer. Another clinical trial will test a revolutionary
approach to pancreatic cancer treatment though immunotherpy.
New Clinical Trials:
Johns Hopkins' Dr. Bert Vogelstein and his team will conduct two
clinical trials with 1,600 individuals across five continents aimed at
developing diagnostic tests that would allow patients to take a simple
blood test to check for pancreatic cancer and to know whether a
pancreatic cyst is benign or malignant. These clinical trials are
building on the successful results from a prior study funded by The
Lustgarten Foundation (see published findings: Science
Translational Medicine, 7/20/11).
Led by Dr. Hadassa Degani, Ph.D., at the Weizmann Institute of
Science, another clinical trial will focus on the use of magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) technology in tandem with fluids to identify
pancreatic cancer tumors with greater clarity at earlier stages. The
application of this technology has the potential to be used in every
major treatment center.
A clinical trial led by Dr. Carl June and Dr. Gregory Beatty at the
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
will focus on altering and training a patient's immune system to
target and eliminate cancer cells. Using a revolutionary new approach,
a patient's T cells will be genetically modified to express protein
complexes known as chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), which act as a
tool to help the reprogrammed T cells recognize and destroy pancreatic
cancer cells. This research has already shown very promising results
in other cancers, such as leukemia.
Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal of all cancers, with only six
percent of individuals diagnosed with the disease surviving five years.
Since its inception in 1998, The Lustgarten Foundation has provided more
than $65 million in support of pancreatic cancer research. Cablevision
Systems Corporation, a leading media and telecommunications company,
underwrites all of the Foundation's administrative costs, so that 100
percent of every dollar donated to the Foundation goes directly to this
About The Lustgarten Foundation and Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is swift and silent, often undetected until it's too
late. More than 37,000 people will die from it this year. The overall
five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is six percent and most
individuals with advanced cancer die within a year. There are no early
detection tests, no effective long-term treatments and, unless the
cancer is surgically removed in its earliest stages, no cure. It is the
fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
The Lustgarten Foundation is America's largest private funder of
pancreatic cancer research. Based in Bethpage, New York, the Foundation
supports research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, facilitates
dialogue within the medical and scientific community, and educates the
public about the disease through awareness campaigns and fundraising
events. The Foundation has provided millions of research dollars and
assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure
can be found. Cablevision Systems (News - Alert) Corporation, a leading media and
telecommunications company, underwrites all of The Lustgarten
Foundation's administrative costs, so that 100 percent of every dollar
donated to the Foundation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.
Learn more at www.curePC.org.
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