MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A rigorous analysis of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network research grants program has shown that the organization's grant recipients are leveraging their awards to secure impressive subsequent funding, publishing their findings, and enhancing knowledge about the disease. The organization evaluated their research grants program by looking at grants awarded from 2003-2011. During that time, 66 grants were awarded totaling $9.15 million. The evaluation found that the scientists funded during that time were able to leverage the organization's $9.15 million investment into $91 million in subsequent pancreatic cancer research funding.
Upon further analysis of the $91 million leveraged by Pancreatic Cancer Action Network grant recipients, the results show that almost 58 percent of the funds came from federal sources, with 92 percent of that sum coming from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This statistic indicates why the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's advocacy efforts are so important and why the organization's herculean efforts to pass the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act were vital. The bill which was signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2013 will ensure that the NCI creates a scientific framework for pancreatic cancer to accelerate progress and improve patient outcomes.
The remaining 42 percent of leveraged research dollars secured by Pancreatic Cancer Action Network grantees came from private sources, illustrating why the organization's efforts to raise private research dollars are also extremely important. The grant recipients chosen each year understand the importance of both federal and private funding. Investment in Pancreatic Cancer Action Network builds the pool of private funding available to current and future pancreatic cancer researchers, while allowing us to advocate to make sure federal funding remains at a sufficient level to promote much-needed progress in the field.
"A 10-fold return on our investment demonstrates the highly-effective strategy of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's research grants program and a sound investment for our donors and corporate partners. " stated Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "Making an investment in pancreatic cancer research is critical now more than ever as the disease is anticipated to move from the fourth to the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2020, or possibly as early as 2015."
Another metric of success noted in the evaluation was the grant recipients' ability to publish their work. Publication in peer-reviewed biomedical journals validates the credibility of scientists' results and allows others to read and build upon their results. The 62 researchers who received grants from 2003-2011 authored an impressive 813 papers, many of which were published in high-tier journals. Other investigators are reading their work and building upon their results, exponentially enhancing our scientific knowledge about the disease, as evidenced by over 6,200 citations of the papers published by the grantees.
"These results indicate that the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's research strategy is working and that we are building a critical mass of scientists working and staying in the field of pancreatic cancer. Due to our efforts more scientists are studying the disease and we now understand its biology better than ever before, building the foundation of knowledge necessary to translate into better diagnostic tools and improved treatment options," added Fleshman.
"Receiving the Laurie and Paul MacCaskill – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – AACR Career Development Award in 2007 allowed me the time and resources to answer key questions about a novel strategy to detect pancreatic tumors," remarked Kimberly Kelly, PhD, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at University of Virginia. "Preliminary data generated from this funding was a catalyst for me to secure additional funding from the National Cancer Institute and other sources to continue my work, and now a clinical trial is underway to test my diagnostic tool."
In addition to receiving support for their research project, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network research grant recipients become part of a Community for Progress which helps them to leverage their research grant and connect with other researchers in the field who many times become collaborators and/or mentors.
For more information about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its research grants program visit www.pancan.org.
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 the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate 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, better treatments and increase chances of survival.
SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network