MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research (RTF-CCR) and Gateway for Cancer Research have joined forces to fight one of the deadliest and hardest-to-treat cancers. The strategic collaboration has provided $1 million to facilitate and accelerate pancreatic cancer clinical research, with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network supporting an additional translational project for $250,000. The new Clinical Continuation and Translational Continuation Research Grants have been awarded to David Boothman, Ph.D. and David Ting, M.D., respectively.
"These grants support research into high-priority areas in an effort to reach the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020," said Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "Partnerships with the Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research and Gateway for Cancer Research represent a focused effort at providing financial support for researchers who are moving their discoveries toward benefiting patients."
The Clinical Continuation Research Grant will support the work of David Boothman, Ph.D., professor and associate director for translational research in pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Boothman received an Innovative Grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in 2012, generously funded by the George & June Block Family Foundation. The Clinical Continuation Research Grant provides up to $1 million over three years in funding from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research and Gateway for Cancer Research to support next steps after the completion of his Innovative Grant. The new project entitled "Exploiting an NQO1 'Kiss of Death' for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy" involves further laboratory and initial clinical trial testing of Dr. Boothman's novel strategy to exploit an abnormality in pancreatic cells to selectively kill the tumor. For the clinical trial, Dr. Boothman will collaborate with Dr. Shaalan Beg (UT Southwestern) and Dr. Daniel Laheru at Johns Hopkins University.
"We are thrilled about the potential of this partnership with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Gateway for Cancer Research," said Eveline Mumenthaler, director of the Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research. "Together, we were able to identify and fund this important research, which neither organization would have been able to support independently. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and it is crucial that we support promising studies to further accelerate research that provides hopeful and immediate options for patients everywhere fighting this disease."
"By working together we can truly advance promising research that is a potentially life-changing therapy for pancreatic cancer patients," said Teresa Hall Bartels, president of Gateway for Cancer Research."We view Dr. Boothman's care of his patients as bringing us one step closer to Gateway's vision of a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared. We are excited to collaborate with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Rising Tide to support this important work."
The Translational Continuation Research Grant will support the work of David Ting, M.D., assistant physician, Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor in medicine, Harvard Medical School. The grant funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will provide $250,000 over two years for his project entitled "Circulating Tumor Cells to Assess Pancreatic Cancer Disease Status." This research builds upon work begun while Dr. Ting was funded by a Fellowship Award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in 2009. He will utilize a "liquid biopsy" technique whereby pancreatic cancer cells that are detectable in the bloodstream can predict response to treatment or improve early detection of the disease.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has awarded sixteen grants totaling more than $5.1 million to scientists and clinicians across the country this year. Pancreatic cancer has historically been understudied and underfunded, yet it is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, and is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death by 2020. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of major cancers, at just 6 percent.
To learn more about Drs. Boothman and Ting's projects, and the other research grants awarded in 2014 or for more information about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, click here or go to www.pancan.org. Follow the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on Twitter at @pancan or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jointhefight.
About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative—The Vision of Progress: Double Pancreatic Cancer Survival by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, and better treatments and increase chances of survival.
About Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research
Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research (RTF-CCR) is an entrepreneurial, private non-profit organization established in Switzerland in 2010. It is committed to empowering and partnering with research excellence centers and scientists to embark and explore novel strategies and treatments to help cancer patients win the fight against cancer. Providing funding support for translational research and pioneering clinical trials, RTF-CCR serves to speed up the discovery process for innovative cancer studies that offer imminent, novel and wholesome options for patients worldwide today. For more information, please visit us our website risingtide-ccr.com.
About Gateway for Cancer ResearchSM
Gateway for Cancer Research is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization committed to funding innovative cancer research studies that can help today's cancer patients feel better, live longer or be cured. Thanks to generous underwriting by Cancer Treatment Centers of America®, 99 cents of every dollar Gateway receives helps to fund phase I and phase II cancer clinical trials at leading research institutions all over the world. Since 1991 Gateway has supported more than 120 clinical trials and funded millions in leading-edge research, including blending the best of conventional and complementary/alternative therapies. Get involved today by visiting DemandCuresToday.org, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/demandcures and join the conversation on Twitter @DemandCures.
SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network