BETHPAGE, N.Y., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A nationwide omnibus survey revealed that 50 percent of Americans questioned believe there is a universal screening test for pancreatic cancer* when in fact there is no widely used test method. More than 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and nearly 42,000 won't survive. Early detection is necessary for increasing survival rates.
"In honor of World Pancreatic Cancer Day today, we want to remind people that developing an effective early detection test is critical, especially for those who are at a higher risk for developing pancreatic cancer," says Kerri Kaplan, President and CEO of the Lustgarten Foundation.
As the rates of incidence and death from other cancers are declining, pancreatic cancer is on the rise. In 2016, pancreatic cancer is expected to surpass breast cancer to become the third deadliest cancer in the United States, underscoring the need for an emphasis on research into early detection.
Hofstra University marketing professor Joel Evans was one of the lucky ones. Because he is a diabetic, he gets his blood checked frequently. Two years ago, a routine blood test showed an early cancer marker. As a result, he was screened and had surgery before his pancreatic cancer had progressed. His long-term prognosis is strong.
"We want every story to be like Joel's," Kaplan said. "And with the work we are currently funding to develop reliable early detection methods, our vision is becoming closer to a reality."
Bert Vogelstein, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Lustgarten Foundation Distinguished Scholar, is leading the Foundation's earlier detection of pancreatic cancer initiative. This project is designed to leverage currently available technologies, as well as create novel, innovative technologies that will detect pancreatic cancer in both general and high risk populations. The first project underway as part of this initiative consists of developing and applying imaging algorithms to screen for pancreatic lesions using CT and MRI imaging. Researchers will create an "image bank" with scans of a normal and an abnormal pancreas and will optimize MRI scanning by improving image resolution and reducing the scanning time. As a result of this project, researchers hope that patients' pancreatic cancer tumors will be detected earlier. Initial results are anticipated in September 2017.
About The Lustgarten Foundation
The Lustgarten Foundation is the largest private foundation dedicated to funding pancreatic cancer research. 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. Since its inception, the Foundation has directed $125 million to research and assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure can be found. Thanks to private funding, 100 percent of every dollar donated to the Foundation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. For additional information, please visit www.lustgarten.org.
About World Pancreatic Cancer Day
World Pancreatic Cancer Day (WPCD) is a day dedicated to raising global awareness of pancreatic cancer and takes place in November during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. WPCD is an initiative of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, a committee of patient advocacy organizations from around the world. The goal of WPCD is to drive an online conversation about awareness of the disease and the need for more research and funding to fight it.
*OMNIWEB using the KnowledgePanel ™ is a national online omnibus service of GfK Custom Research North America. The results are based on interviews conducted from October 14 – 16, 2016. A total of approximately 1,000 interviews were completed, with approximately 500 female adults and 500 male adults. The margin of error on weighted data is + 3 percentage points for the full sample.
SOURCE The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research