The following blog post was submitted and written by representatives at the Lustgarten Foundation.  Johns Hopkins and the Sanger Institute published two papers in the journal Nature describing how pancreatic cancer develops far more slowly than once thought.  Major media outlets covering the news included The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, CBS NewsScience News, WebMD and Health Day.  Read the Johns Hopkins' news release for more information.

The Lustgarten Foundation, the nation’s largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research, applauds the work of cooperating investigators at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Sanger Institute on their groundbreaking research in the area of pancreatic cancer. The studies, which were reported online Wednesday, October 27, in Nature, affirm early detection and screening as promising areas of investigation that hold significant potential for saving lives.

Thanks to these studies, we now know that the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer takes more than a decade to develop, longer than originally thought. This finding extends the scientific window of opportunity for identifying this disease at its earliest stages, when the chances for a cure are greatest. Today, pancreatic cancer is usually found at later, incurable stages.

The Lustgarten Foundation believes that early detection holds the key to increased chances for survival. We hope that, one day, detecting pancreatic cancer early can be as simple as a routine test in your doctor’s office. That’s why we are directing significant funding toward several efforts aimed at developing an early detection test for pancreatic cancer, including a multi-million dollar grant to support Dr. Bert Vogelstein, an author of the Johns Hopkins study reported in Nature, in his efforts to develop a blood test for the disease. We are also funding a study that seeks to identify protein signatures for pancreatic cancer in the blood, urine or tissue, and to use these signatures as a basis for developing early detection and screening tests.

With November being Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, news of the Johns Hopkins and Sanger studies is especially hopeful to those of us who are committed to defeating pancreatic cancer, and to those who have been personally impacted by the disease. Visit www.curePC.org to view our public service announcement in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and the inspiring stories of the many individuals raising awareness about pancreatic cancer.

To learn more about our research and the Foundation, please visit www.lustgarten.org.

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