The Cancer Research Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation (PCCF) 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.
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, President and Chief Executive Office of the Cancer Research Society. “Through this research partnership, the Cancer Research Society 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.