Announcing first-ever research partnership dedicated to pancreatic cancer
TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2017 /CNW/ - The Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation (PCCF) and the Cancer Research Society (CRS) today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind national research partnership solely committed to the fight against pancreatic cancer. The two-year joint project will raise $2 million in support of PancOne™ - the PCCF's Pancreatic Oncology Network.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers – 93 per cent of patients will die within five years of diagnosis and more than half of those diagnosed will die within weeks. While death rates are declining for many other cancers in Canada, they are increasing for pancreatic cancer patients. By 2020, it will be the second most deadly cancer, after lung cancer. Yet, pancreatic cancer receives less than two per cent of research funding in Canada.
In order to garner attention from Canadians about pancreatic cancer, the PCCF launched the provocative "Assumptions" advertising campaign this November, challenging the common misperceptions that people have about the disease, urging them to learn more about the signs and symptoms, as well as help fund research.
"We needed to stop people in their tracks, help them understand how devasting a pancreatic cancer diagnosis is and compel them to act," said Michelle Capobianco, CEO of PCCF. "Advances in screening, treatment and quality of life have been made in almost every major cancer within the last decade, except pancreatic. We at the PCCF and the CRS are determined to change that with this research partnership – it's time for Canadians to demand better."
PancOne is the first multi-disciplinary research partnership linking established cancer centres across Canada for pancreatic cancer research. The initiative provides a structure where Canada's top researchers and pancreatic cancer organizations can work in collaboration on critical projects while eliminating any duplication, ensuring the fastest possible progress on this deadly disease.
"While the Cancer Research Society prides itself on allocating funding on all types of cancer, we see it as our responsibility to unite against pancreatic cancer in the hopes of finally making some headway against the disease," said Max Fehlmann, CEO of CRS. "Through this research partnership, CRS and PCCF can provide more comprehensive resources to researchers to find ways of improving early detection, pave the way for new drug development and ultimately increase overall pancreatic cancer survival rates."
Currently, there are limited treatment options available to pancreatic cancer patients and for those that do exist, early detection is paramount. Patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years or longer, but most pancreatic patients are diagnosed too late, often at Stage 4 or later.
Pancreatic cancer patients deserve more funding toward early detection and treatments today for a lower mortality rate tomorrow.
Video and visual assets are available for download here.
To get involved, show your support or take action:
- Visit AssumptionsCanBeDeadly.ca to learn more, share and donate.
- For support and resources in the Maritimes visit www.craigscause.ca
- Another resource is worldpancreaticcancerday.org for infographics and information to help you identify the symptoms and risks of pancreatic cancer
Twitter: @PanCancerCanada; @worldpancreatic @craigscause
IG: @pancreaticcancercanada @worldpancreatic
FB: @PanCanCanada @worldpancreaticcancerday @pancreaticcancer
About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer has been nicknamed the 'silent killer' because its symptoms can be mild at first and can often be attributed to other less serious and common conditions, such as a cold or flu. Don't assume it's just a flu that won't go away – back pain, nausea and fatigue are all signs of pancreatic cancer. Better outcomes are possible with earlier detection, and the key is knowing the signs and symptoms.
There is no standard diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer and the diagnosis is often difficult to make. The cause of the majority of pancreatic cancer cases is unknown. There is evidence that age, smoking, being overweight, a family history of pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and diabetes may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Early diagnosis is vital, so listen to your body and don't ignore the signs. If you have symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider as soon as you can.
The PancOne partnership will build on the research infrastructure available in Canada including expertise in clinical trials, metastatic pancreatic cancer management, familial pancreatic cancer, cancer genomics and state of the art tumour sequencing facilities at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and BC Cancer Agency Genome Science Centre (BCCA GSC), in order to define clinically relevant metastatic pancreatic cancer subtypes, understand mechanisms underlying sensitivity and resistance to chemotherapy, and facilitate precision medicine approaches.
This study will be available to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, and will involve tumour biopsies, molecular analysis of the cancers, and ongoing close monitoring for response to therapy. Additionally, the molecular analysis information will be used to direct subsequent therapy tailored to specific characteristics of that particular cancer.
Centres of Excellence across Canada include: Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Toronto), BC Cancer Foundation (Vancouver), McGill University Health Centre Foundation (Montreal), University of Calgary (Calgary) and QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation (Halifax), with supporting centres Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
About the Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation
The PCCF is focused on fighting pancreatic cancer through raising funds for research, awareness, education and advocacy. PCCF's goals are to improve overall patient survival rates and create a brighter future for those affected by pancreatic cancer. Since its inception in 2006, PCCF has invested nearly $4 million in research at cancer centres across Canada; funding scientific projects in early detection, treatment and improving patient outcomes.
About the Cancer Research Society
Founded in 1945, the Cancer Research Society is the first Canadian organization entirely dedicated to funding research on all types of cancer. Over the course of its history, the CRS has supported thousands of our country's best scientific minds who have helped make important strides in the way we prevent, detect, and treat cancer. Since 2000, thanks to the generosity of donors across the country, the CRS distributed over $140 million in research grants. For more information: CancerResearchSociety.ca
SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation
For further information: For more information or to request an interview please contact: Kendra Stephenson, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, [email protected], 416-413-4696, 416-347-6724