Recent news stories
April 6, 2010
August 1, 2009Press release
>> Pancreatic cancer risk decreased by one anti-diabetic therapy, increased by others: The antidiabetic medication metformin is associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer in diabetics, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. However, other commonly used therapies, such as insulin or insulin secretagogues, may be associated with increased risk for the deadly disease.
July 29, 2009Family gives $5.25 million to Mass. General for pancreatic cancer research
The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts
The family of a pancreatic cancer patient has made a second gift to Massachusetts General Hospital. The Divjak family of San Diego is giving $5.25 million to the hospital to establish the Andrew L. Warshaw Institute for Pancreatic Cancer Research, which will expand existing efforts to prevent, detect, and cure the disease. Fourteen years ago Mass. General surgeon-in-chief Warshaw removed a malignant pancreatic tumor from Zdravko Divjak. He died in April at age 31.
July 27, 2009Press release
>> Smoking increases potential for metastatic pancreatic cancer
July 25, 2009Congress' Insult to Randy Pausch's Legacy
The Daily Beast,
One year after the death of "Last Lecture" speaker Randy Pausch, his cause — increased funding for pancreatic cancer — has not been met by Congress. Blogger Matthew Dallek writes:
"The problem extends far beyond the politicians who hold sway over the nation's purse strings. A 'herd mentality' undermines the grant-making process, says Dr. Scott Kern, professor of oncology and pathology at Johns Hopkins University. 'Congress and the NCI [National Cancer Institute] both hunger for popularity, [and] a small handful of popular cancers get more than their share of the research dollars. This leads to crowds of scientists looking in the dark' at the same handful of cancers all sitting beneath the 'same [few] lampposts.' Pancreatic cancer research has long been a medical orphan, partly because it's so deadly that there are few survivors to raise awareness. So, as funding for all cancer research has dried up in recent years, it's been especially hard hit."
>> Carnegie Mellon prof's widow takes up cause to fight cancer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
July 20, 2009< Press release
>> CytRx’s INNO-206 Significantly Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Growth in Animal Trials
July 16, 2009Local charity goes national
Alliston Herald, Alliston, Ontario, Canada
In the four years since the death of her husband Dick, Betty Aldridge has created the first ever Canadian foundation for the disease that claimed his life. The Dick Aldridge Pancreatic Cancer Foundation became a reality in 2006. The organization continued to expand and in 2008 Pancreatic Cancer Canada was born. Once a local telephone responded to inquiries but now a toll-free number has become a reality. 1-888-pancan9 (1-888-726-2269) covers all of Canada and www.pancreaticcancercanada.ca offers information about the disease, the organization, fundraising events, donation possibilities.
>> Pancreatic Cancer Canada
July 11, 2009Brookline resident awarded grant to study pancreatic cancer
Brookline Tab, Brookline, Massachusetts
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded a Physician-Scientist Early Career Grant to Brookline resident Dr. Brian Wolpin, a clinician-researcher at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who is searching for genes and environmental factors that predispose people to pancreatic cancer. He is analyzing large amounts of data from epidemiological studies, comparing information about diet, physical activity, blood biomarkers, and inherited genetic information from people with pancreatic cancer to similar data from healthy people.
July 5, 2009Framingham man fighting cancer, riding in Pan-Mass Challenge
MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Massachusetts
When Craig Berkson passed out at a party four years ago, it was only the beginning of his struggles. After a diagnosis of cancer, a 12-hour surgery to remove a tumor from his pancreas and a four-week hospitalization followed. Four years later, at age 43, he still has cancer. Now it's in his liver. He takes pills daily and chemotherapy shots monthly to fight the disease. This summer finds him training, bicycling hundreds of miles, in the hopes of winning that fight as one of 5,000 cyclists to participate in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge bicycle ride.
June 28, 2009Pancreatic cancer linked to animal fat in diet
Results of a new study show that higher intake of animal fat in our diet can increase risk of pancreatic cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed a direct correlation between pancreatic cancer and consumption of animal fat from meat and dairy products. The study found risk of pancreatic cancer increased in women 23 percent, and 53 percent in men from consuming animal fat, compared to individuals who ate less dairy and red meat. The research concluded that there is not enough evidence to completely clarify the role of animal fats for increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
June 25, 2009Pfizer's Sutent effective vs rare pancreatic cancer
Pfizer Inc's Sutent delayed the worsening of the type of pancreatic cancer that afflicted Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs by more than five months longer than a placebo, according to data from a clinical trial. The study, which involved 154 patients with advanced pancreatic islet cell tumors, was stopped early by independent safety monitors because Sutent had demonstrated significant benefit and had met the primary goal of the trial. Sutent, known chemically as sunitinib, is currently approved to treat advanced kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a cancer of the digestive system.
June 23, 2009Youthful Obesity Linked to Pancreatic Cancer
Teens and young adults who are overweight or obese may be more likely to develop pancreatic cancer later in life, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It compared the self-reported weight (starting at age 14) of 841 pancreatic cancer patients and 754 healthy people studied at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: People who had been overweight from age 14-39 were 67% more likely to be pancreatic cancer patients, people who were obese from age 20-49 were about 2.5 times more likely to be pancreatic cancer patients, pancreatic cancer began two to six years earlier in people who were overweight or obese from age 20-49.
Among pancreatic cancer patients, people who were overweight or obese in the year before their pancreatic cancer diagnosis had a worse survival rate, regardless of the stage of their tumor or whether they had surgery to remove their tumor.
>> The Lustgarten Foundation Awards Six Research Centers With Pancreatic Cancer Research Funding, Foundation Expects to Double 2009 Grant Awards to Nearly $4 Million
June 16, 2009He did it!
Woburn Advocate, Woburn, Massachusetts
A blistered but beaming former stroke victim arrived at his Woburn home to cheers and applause after heaving a 600-pound wheelbarrow 40 miles to raise money for pancreatic cancer research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jerry Bowser, 46, an ex-pro wrestler who performed for years as "The Boston Brawler," completed his self-assigned odyssey in 17 hours and 20 minutes.
June 14, 2009Candye Kane: A singing ‘Superhero’
San Diego News Network, San Diego, California
Candye Kane is used to shocking audiences when she takes the stage. Dressed in brightly colored feathers, sequins and rhinestones, the self-described "fat black drag queen trapped in a white woman’s body" belts, growls and croons her selection of original blues and classic rock tunes. But the blues-belting diva wore only a white hospital gown when she surprised a new audience — her doctors. Miss Kane was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last April, and philosophically told her physician, "If it’s my time to go, I sure have had an amazing ride." One year later, she was pronounced cancer-free, stunning her medical team once again. So it’s no wonder Kane feels like a "Superhero," to quote the title of her 10th and latest CD, released on June 19.
June 12, 2009Laurent Fignon, two-time Tour de France champion, undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer
Laurent Fignon of France, the 1983 and 1984 winner of the Tour de France, has been diagnosed with advanced intestinal cancer. "My cancer is an advanced cancer because it has metastasized," said Fignon, 48. "I am optimistic. I am going to fight and I am sure I can win the battle."
June 9, 2009Press release
>> Variability in pancreatic cancer care found with newly developed quality indicators
June 8, 2009EU to Grant $11.7M for Pancreatic Cancer Dx, PGx
The European Commission will give €8.4 million ($11.7 million) to fund research efforts that will use genomics and proteomics to develop new screening techniques for pancreatic cancer. The integrated project, which will be coordinated by Philipps-Universitaet Marburg, will include groups involved in pancreatic cancer research in Europe in order to develop molecular diagnostics for the prevention, early diagnosis, and risk stratification of pancreatic cancer.
June 2, 2009Stool test shows promise in detecting many cancers
Using just a stool sample, doctors may now be able to detect colon and many other cancers of the digestive tract including stomach, pancreatic, bile duct and esophageal cancer, U.S. researchers said. A new test, which detects genetic material shed from the surface of cancer cells, found nearly 70 percent of assorted digestive tract cancers. "What's common to all of the cancers in the GI tract is that they shed cells and they are going downstream and are excreted in the stool. We've exploited that common biology to explore this as a screening approach," said Dr. David Ahlquist of the Mayo Clinic. Ahlquist and the clinic hope to license the test to a company that will commercialize it.
June 1, 2009< Press release
>> Mayo Clinic finds new pathology tests double sensitivity to detect bile duct and pancreatic cancers
>> New Data Demonstrate Anti-Tumor Activity for Abraxane Combination Chemotherapy Regimen in Patients with Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer
May 30, 2009Failed Study Shows Lilly Chemo Drug May Be Preferable
The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York
Three major studies failed to make major progress in treating a number of gastrointestinal cancers, suggesting current practices remain unchanged, although a chemotherapy (Gemzar) made by Eli Lilly & Co. could see greater use because of reduced side effects. Researchers found no difference in survival between Gemzar and 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (5-FU) when either was given to pancreatic cancer patients following surgery, failing its main goal. Despite the trial's failure, Gemzar did show fewer severe side effects, which will likely make it preferable for physicians because it conferred the same benefit to patients. The regimen in the study, 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid, is commonly used immediately after pancreatic cancer surgery in Europe, while Gemzar alone or in combination with radiation therapy is more commonly in the U.S.
May 27, 2009TGen scientist lands $18M to fight cancer
The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, physician in chief of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, will co-manage a research team with an $18 million grant from a star-studded, multimillion-dollar charitable initiative against cancer. The grant is the largest of five from Stand Up to Cancer, a philanthropic group created by scientists and members of the entertainment industry a year ago with one goal: to quickly turn scientific discoveries into better care and cures for patients. Von Hoff and Dr. Craig B. Thompson, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center, will work on a method to starve tumors to slow the progression of pancreatic cancer. Their research project will develop tests to determine what nutrients pancreatic-cancer cells require to fuel their growth and survival. Understanding the cells' fuel supply will help scientists develop more individualized drug treatments with fewer side effects.
>> Penn researcher to help lead pancreatic cancer effort, Philadelphia Inquirer
>> STAND UP TO CANCER AWARDS $73.6 MILLION FOR NOVEL, GROUNDBREAKING CANCER RESEARCH
May 26, 2009Remedy sought for flaws in health care
The Saratogian, Saratoga, New York
Difficulties in obtaining and coordinating her husband's palliative care for pancreatic cancer, led Beverly Alves to become an advocate for single payer health care. "It should’ve been a ballet; instead it was a whole bunch of great ballroom dancers," she said. On an individual basis, the doctors and nurses who treated her husband did a good job, Alves said. They failed, however, to communicate with each other and coordinate the complex care Joseph required in the waning months and days of his life.
May 23, 2009Choosing when to die was 'truly what she wanted to do,' says friend
The Seattle Times, Seattle, Washington
Linda Fleming, 66, met the limits of her endurance when she was diagnosed last month with terminal pancreatic cancer. Rather than die in agony or spend her final days in a drug-induced haze, Fleming swallowed a fatal dose of barbiturates in her apartment — becoming the first person in Washington to end her life under the state's new "Death with Dignity" law.
May 21, 2009A New Way to Get Chemo to Pancreatic Tumors
Researchers are reporting that they've discovered a way to boost chemotherapy and slightly extend the lives of mice with pancreatic cancer, potentially paving the way for more effective treatments in people. Doctors think the disease is especially difficult to treat with chemotherapy because the tumors don't have many blood vessels to carry drugs to where they need to be to kill cancer cells. In the study published in Science, researchers genetically engineered mice to develop a form of pancreatic cancer. The scientists then gave them a chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine (Gemzar) and another compound they hoped would boost blood flow in the tumors. The survival time of the mice, on average, doubled from 11 to 25 days when they were treated with the chemotherapy drug and the compound
May 14, 2009Event
>> Memorial golf tourney for Southborough police chief, June 22 in Northborough, Massachusetts
May 7, 2009In rural Washington state, law allows assisted suicide, but most doctors don't
The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California
"Stephen Wallace had watched his wife die of cancer 22 years ago, using up the morphine as fast as they could put it into her and begging for more. No No, he said then. I won't let this happen to me.
"So when he was diagnosed with an advanced case of pancreatic cancer March 8, and given a few days to a few weeks to live, Wallace hoped to go quickly. He told his doctor and family that he wanted to take advantage of Washington state's new law allowing physicians to prescribe a fatal dose of barbiturates to terminal patients. His five children agreed, but his doctor balked, citing moral reservations.' "
No doctor was willing to prescribe the pills. Pancreatic cancer killed Wallace, 76, April 8.
Said his daughter: "I'll tell you, if I ever get cancer, I don't want to put my kids through that."
May 4, 2009Randy Pausch Posthumously Makes Star Trek Cut
Randy Pausch inspired millions of people with his brave fight against pancreatic cancer, particularly through his highly-publicized "last lecture" that outlined how to achieve your childhood dreams. One of his own dreams came true in the new Star Trek movie. A very small speaking role featuring Pausch made it into the final version of the film. Pausch plays a crewman on the bridge of the Starship Kelvin. Pausch's line?: "Captain, we have a visual."
April 30, 2009Mitchell keeps faith, hope and love alive
The Expositor, Sparta, Tennessee
In 1993, Sparta resident Virginia Mitchell began a curious journey after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She had the Whipple surgery, and 16 years later at age 85 she says: "don't let anybody kill your hope."
April 22, 2009AACR 2009: Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer — Don't Trust Any Single Study
Article on noted nutritionist Dr. Walter Willet's presentation American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting: "No conclusions should be made on the basis of a single study." The studies referenced include those examining consumption of red meat, meat cooked at a high temperature, a high-fat diet, and alcohol all increasing the risk, and fruit and vegetables decreasing the risk. However, much of the evidence for these links is rather weak, he said; the most robust evidence supports a link between obesity and an increased risk for cancer. "The estimate that diet contributes to around 30% to 35% of cancers is still reasonable," Dr. Willet said, "but much of this is related to being overweight and inactive."
April 18, 2009Press release
>> Newly discovered epidermal growth factor receptor active in human pancreatic cancers
April 17, 2009Press release
>> Vitamin K with Sorafenib Active Against Pancreas Cancer, Liver Cancer, in pre clinical study
April 16, 2009Siteman Cancer Center doctors use two-test method to screen for pancreatic cancer
KWMU, St. Louis, Missouri
Doctors at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis are using a new screening program to detect pancreatic cancer in people at high risk of the getting the disease. They say the program is the first of its kind in the Midwest to screen patients using both an ultrasound and an MRI.
NBA coaches dedicate 2009 playoffs to Chuck Daly
Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan
The National Basketball Coaches' Association dedicated the 2009 NBA playoffs to former Pistons coach Chuck Daly. Coaches throughout the playoffs will wear a lapel pin emblazoned with the initials "CD" as a show of support for Daly, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February. The NBCA also announced that it is developing the "Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award" to honor a current or former NBA coach.
>> Chuck Daly, 1930-2009, May 9
>> Clavis Pharma Initiates Phase II Clinical Study of Intravenous CP-4126 in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, drug is a novel Lipid Vector Technology analogue of gemcitabine
April 14, 2009Cancer survivor takes up cause of early detection
Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan
Sheila Sky Kasselman is feeling great a year and five months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Now she's trying to raise $100,000 to fund research for early detection of the disease. Kasselman hopes her nonprofit, the Sky Foundation, will fund research by Michael Tainsky, an expert in early detections of other cancers. Tainsky is a professor at Wayne State University and runs a cancer research lab at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.
With ribbons and caring, a neighborhood rallies around one of its own
Pasadena Star-News, Pasadena, California
Ceci Montalvo, 49, fight with pancreatic cancer inspired a whole neighborhood? The mother of two was diagnosed with cancer in May 2008 and spent much of the next 12 months in hospitals. To support her, a friend mobilized the neighborhood in November to tie purple ribbons around trees in the to show of support, months later the cancer is in remission and the ribbons are still there.
April 9, 2009Man who told patients he could cure cancer charged
San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, California
A man who called himself a naturopathic doctor and told patients his supplements could cure cancer has been charged with practicing medicine without a license and giving patients unapproved drugs. Kurt Donsbach was arrested during his weekly Internet radio broadcast. "The defendant preyed on vulnerable patients who were looking for medical help," the district attorney said in a statement. "Under the guise of providing natural and safe supplements, he sold victims potentially dangerous drugs." Tests of a supplement offered by his clinic that was supposed to cure pancreatic cancer 60 percent of the time found nimesulide, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory not approved by the FDA, prosecutors said.
April 8, 2009Professor Nabs $1.24 Million Grant For Pancreatic Cancer Research
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, Texas
A University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler researcher received $1.24 million to study the prevention of pancreatic cancer, officials announced. The grant from the National Institutes of Health is to study whether certain chemical compounds can help prevent pancreatic cancer. The four compounds — diallyl trisulfide, EGCG, resveratrol and sulforaphane — are found in processed garlic, green tea, red grapes and red wine, and in broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and collard greens, respectively.
March 27, 2009$27m grant to help discover cancer's secrets
The Australian, Sydney, Australia
$27.5 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council will allow Australian scientists to join a global push to unpick the genetic secrets of the world's most common cancers. The Australian arm of the 24-nation International Cancer Genomics Collaboration will focus on the mutations causing two cancers: pancreatic and ovarian. These are the fifth and sixth most lethal cancers for Australian women respectively, while pancreatic cancer is the sixth most lethal for men. The two cancers kill 3,000 Australians a year. The director of the Australian program, Sean Grimmond, said samples would be taken of 370 pancreatic tumors and 150 ovarian tumors. The DNA from the cells would be compared with DNA from healthy cells to work out how the mutations causing the cancer began and progressed.
March 26, 2009How I Did It: A tough battle against pancreatic cancer
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri
Detailed story about Linda Gruchala, now 56, and her 3 1/2 year survival from pancreatic cancer. She began having stomach problems in April 2005, and was diagnosed in September of that year. She had surgery at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Surgeon Linehan the tumor, half of her pancreas, 40 percent of her stomach and part of her colon. Then she underwent an experimental regimen of chemotherapy and radiation, developed by Dr. Vincent Picozzi, an oncologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, and initially her insurance wouldn't pay. The grueling treatment was a six-week regimen of daily radiation treatments while chemotherapy was pumped into her body 24 hours a day. One day a week she got cisplatin; two other days, she'd get the alpha interferon. After that, she took a four-week break, then received gemcitabine, a chemotherapy drug, once a week for six weeks.
March 19, 2009Tempur-Pedic Teddy Bear will help fight pancreatic cancer
A Tempur-Pedic Teddy Bear will help retailers raise money for the fight against pancreatic cancer in a special promotion they are rolling out for the fourth quarter this year. The Tempur-Pedic Teddy Bear, to be offered at bedding retailers starting in October, will help raise money for the fight against pancreatic cancer. The bear will carry logos for Tempur-Pedic and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, will retail for $59. Tempur-Pedic said it will donate all proceeds from the sale of the bears to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
March 17, 2009Supreme Court's Ginsburg to undergo chemotherapy
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said on Tuesday she would undergo chemotherapy in late March after her surgery for pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg said in the statement she underwent "a complete, successful, surgical removal of a pancreatic cancer" on February 5 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City." Doctors removed a small malignant lesion from her pancreas. All lymph nodes proved negative for cancer and no metastasis was found, according to an earlier statement from the court.
March 16, 2009Pancreas cancer surgery outcome worse with obesity
People who have undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer and are classified as obese don't live as long as those who are not obese, according to a new report. Obesity was classified as a body mass index or BMI of 30 or more. Cancer was 12 times more likely to be found to have spread to the lymph nodes in patients with BMIs of 35 of more, compared to those with lower BMIs, the investigators report in the Archives of Surgery. For patients with a BMI higher than 35, average survival was 13.2 months, compared with 27.4 months for those with a BMI of less than 23.
March 12, 2009Rare pancreatic cancer slowed by Pfizer drug
A rare form of pancreatic cancer that has afflicted Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs responded so well to Pfizer Inc's drug, Sutent, that a study was stopped early so all patients could take the pill. Patients in the study had advanced pancreatic islet cell tumors, also known as neuroendocrine cancer. "This form of pancreatic cancer involves only about 5 percent of all pancreatic cancer cases, and grows and spreads more slowly" than other types of pancreatic cancer, said Mace Rothenberg, a senior Pfizer research executive.
State finds no link in cancer cases near Oroville
Mercury News, San Jose, California
State health officials say an investigation into a spike in pancreatic cancer south of Oroville was inconclusive. A report says investigators found no common factor among the 24 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during 2004 and 2005. That's twice the rate considered normal for the area.
March 10, 2009Blood Type, Pancreatic Cancer Risk Linked
People with blood types A, B, or AB are at higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those with type O, according to a new study. Using data from two large groups of people, Brian Wolpin, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues report finding what seems to be an association between blood types and risk of pancreatic cancer. "The highest risk was observed for participants with blood group B, and intermediate risks were observed for those with blood groups A and AB," the researchers write.
>> Blood type study sheds light on biology of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer not a death sentence
Savannah Morning News, Savannah, Georgia
Story is a good overview of the current state of care for pancreatic cancer. It focuses on case of Scott Zeberlein, said to be cancer-free two years after being diagnosed. Story reports: "In Zeberlein's case, doctors prescribed radiation to shrink his tumor and then performed what's known as a 'Whipple procedure,' which involves removing a portion of the stomach, the duodenum, the bile duct and a portion of the pancreas."
Pasco man beats pancreatic cancer, on the hunt for elusive elk
The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington
Light-hearted story about a birthday gag for a pancreatic cancer survivor and unsuccessful elk hunter. Burt Goranson, who just turned 60, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in mid-2004. After six months of chemotherapy, his pancreas was removed in January 2005. After six more weeks of chemotherapy, the cancer was gone.
March 7, 2009Former Coach Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer
Former Detroit Pistons Head Coach Chuck Daly, 78, has pancreatic cancer. Daly told Local 4 Sportscaster Bernie Smilovitz that he had not been feeling well for the past few months, and recently he has noticed he was getting weaker. He told Smilovitz, "There is no cure for what I have."
March 6, 2009Event
>> Seena Magowitz Golf Classic raises $423,280
March 4, 2009Press release
>> Gene Involved In Pancreatic Cancer Identified, Expression of the gene, Ataxia Telangiectasia Group D Complementing gene, called ATDC, is on average 20 times higher in pancreatic cancer cells than in cells from a normal pancreas.
March 3, 2009Alcohol Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk
A daily drinking habit may modestly increase pancreatic cancer risk, researchers found in a meta-analysis. Pancreatic cancer risk was 22% higher for individuals who had two or more drinks a day than for nondrinkers, Stephanie Smith-Warner, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues reported in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
March 2, 2009Pancreatic cancer: You learn as you fight
The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Florida
With recent attention on celebrities with pancreatic cancer, this story takes a look at an "ordinary Joe" and his fight. Joseph Virzi, 72, was diagnosed three yearsago andd has outlived 94 percent of the people who have ever lived with pancreatic cancer. He is a psychiatrist by profession, helping people with addictions. The story notes: "Fighting cancer is a lot like overcoming an addiction. ... Both patient types display a 'passionate drive' to regain their prior functions. Their families rally around them. There are relapses and setbacks. One's belief in a higher power is a source of strength."
February 25, 2009Rich gives $2M gift to Cleveland Clinic
Business First, Buffalo, New York
Robert Rich Jr. and Melinda Rich have donated $2 million to the Cleveland Clinic to start a chaired position, the Rich Family Distinguished Chair in Digestive Diseases. The first chair holder will be surgeon R. Matthew Walsh, MD, who plans to use the chair funds to support research in early detection of pancreatic cancer. He treated the Rich's son for pancreatitis.
Study: Alcohol consumption may increase pancreatic cancer risk
WKYC-TV , Cleveland, Ohio
Consuming two or more drinks per day could increase a person's risk of pancreatic cancer by about 22 percent, according to new data published in journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
February 9, 2009Press release
>> The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Celebrates 10 Years of Leadership and Service to the Pancreatic Cancer Community
February 6, 2009Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery For Cancer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75, underwent surgery Feb. 5 in New York for pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease. Ginsburg, who received a diagnosis of colon cancer nearly 10 years ago, had experienced no symptoms from the pancreatic cancer, which apparently was found at an early stage during a routine checkup last month, according to a statement issued by the court. >
>> 6 Things You Need to Know About Pancreatic Cancer, U.S. News & World Report
>> Ginsburg released from hospital after surgery, Feb. 13
>> Ginsburg is back at Supreme Court after surgery, Feb. 23
I'm Battling Cancer. How About Some Help, Congress?
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Piece by Patrick Swayze, which begins: "For me, fighting cancer is personal. Ever since I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2008, I've been waging an intense, often hellacious battle. It's me (with a lot of love and medical support) against my disease. ...
"So here's my plea to Congress: Stand up to cancer. Stand up for people fighting serious disease. Stand up and help restore America's economy. Stand up and help build a prosperous and healthy future for our people by giving the NIH $10 billion for research. Stand up to create jobs, fight illness and deliver hope."
>> Cablevision Airing New PSAs For Campaign Against Pancreatic Cancer
February 4, 2009Citing Late Husband’s Illness, Fla. Congresswoman Co-sponsors
Media General News Service
Citing the death last year of her husband, Harvey Waite, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite announced that she has again joined in the introduction of a bill that would creates a Pancreatic Cancer Initiative. Under the bill, also called the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act, a National Pancreatic Cancer Initiative would be established to provide a greater focus on the disease and give the National Cancer Institute the necessary tools to discover ways to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer in its early stages.
February 2, 2009Press release
>> Cancer Advances Acquires the Intellectual Property for a Suite of Products that Enhance the Immune System in Treatment of Gastric, Pancreatic, and Colorectal Cancers
January 30, 2009Pfizer ends development of pancreatic cancer drug
Drug developer Pfizer Inc. said it will stop developing a drug candidate for advanced pancreatic cancer because the drug failed to prompt improvement in patients. The drug candidate axitinib was in Phase III, or late-stage development. Interim study analysis showed the drug, in combination with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, worked no better at improving survival than with gemcitabine alone.
January 22, 2009LeClaire, Iowa, family reflects on inauguration trip
Quad City Times, Davenport, Iowa
Iowa family, who lost wife and mom Beth Wehrman, to pancreatic cancer in the fall, attended the Obama inaugural, traveling on the whistle stop train, as they were early supporters of the president's campaign. According to the story: "When his wife died and Obama called to offer his condolences, he also asked Wehrman if there was anything he could do. Wehrman replied that finding a cure for cancer would be his wish.
" 'We talked about it again (during the inaugural trip), and he simply said, "I will be calling you" ' "
January 18, 2009NCAA's Brand has pancreatic cancer
The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana
NCAA president Myles Brand has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. "I have pancreatic cancer," Brand wrote in an e-mail to staff. "The long-term prognosis is not good. I am currently undergoing chemotherapy, and I am receiving excellent care. I will know in the next several months the success of this treatment."
January 16, 2009Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze raise awareness of deadly pancreatic cancer
Daily News, New York, New York
Summary of current state of knowledge about pancreatic cancer and limited treatment options published in wake of news about Apple's Steve Jobs and actor Patrick Swayze. The story notes: "In the cases of Swayze and Jobs, they've already more than beat the statistical odds.
" 'The vast majority of people with pancreatic cancer die within six months,' " the story quotes Dr. David Clain, acting chairman of digestive diseases at Beth Israel Medical Center.
Making Sure That the Song Will Survive
The New York Times, New York, New York
Story is about the effort, "The Song Continues," of opera singer Marilyn Horne, 75, to keep tradition of vocal recitals alive, one of many efforts of her foundation. But there's this remarkable part to her story:
"Miss Horne had to put her work on hold after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2003. But she beat the odds thanks to early detection and aggressive treatment and is now fully cured.
" 'I suppose I have music in part to thank for that as well,' she said. 'For me, at least, nothing helped surviving chemotherapy quite as effectively as dozing off with an iPod playing nonstop in my ear. Going through the whole ghastly process, need I say, was absolute hell. This birthday has now become an even more major moment for me, considering that there was a real possibility that I would never see it.' "
>> Mucin Found as Barrier to Pancreatic Cancer Drug
January 13, 2009Press releases
>> Glitches in DNA repair genes predict prognosis in pancreatic cancer, "Variations in mismatch repair genes can help predict treatment response and prognosis in patients with pancreatic cancer."
>> Hepatitis C may increase pancreatic cancer risk
January 9, 2009Bank-machine millionaire gives YMCA $500,000
The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario
Bank-machine millionaire Mischa Weisz, 52, is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in September 2007, given half a year but has managed to stretch that out to 16 months and counting. He talked about his $500,000 donation as more like a business investment than a gift.
"I looked at many types of foundations for health care," he said. "But I thought if we have stronger leaders and stronger entrepreneurs then we're going to have more money go to the right foundations.
"The only way to do that is to invest in children."
January 6, 2009Patrick Swayze on cancer battle: 'I'm going through hell'
Daily News, New York, New York
Story about "Dirty Dancing" star Patrick Swayze's first interview with about his fight with pancreatic cancer since his diagnosis in January 2008. "You can bet that I'm going through hell," Swayze, 56, told Barbara Walters. "And I've only seen the beginning of it." Because the cancer had spread to his liver, surgery was not an option. So Swayze endured an aggressive course of chemotherapy and took the experimental drug Vatalanib. He responded to the treatment and began work in June on an A&E series, "The Beast," which often required 12 or more hours a day. Incredibly, despite dealing with excruciating pain, he missed only a 1 1/2 days of work in five months.
>> Video: Patrick Swayze talks about fear and angels as he battles cancer.
January 5, 2009The prognosis for Apple's Steve Jobs: continuing conjecture
The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California
The pancreatic cancer survivor tells worried fans and investors that a hormone imbalance has caused his weight loss. Medical experts said a hormone imbalance in a pancreatic cancer survivor raises red flags about a possible recurrence. Jobs said in 2004 that he had undergone surgery to treat a rare form of the deadly disease. The 53-year-old CEO said his doctors discovered his condition had been "robbing" his body of proteins needed for good nutrition. He is undergoing treatment, which he described as simple and straightforward.
>> Jan. 14: Apple’s Chief Takes a Medical Leave: health problems were "more complex" than he originally thought.
January 1, 2009Two sisters beating the odds and surviving
Sawyer County Record, Hayward, Wisconsin
Two sisters are pancreatic cancer survivors and PanCAN activists. Second sister's tumor was discovered in a precautionary scan taken after her sister was diagnosed at age 34 in Nov. 2005.