Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pancreatic cancer calls for urgency

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cancer killer in Australia and has a low five-year survival rate of less than 10%.

In 2019, it claimed almost as many lives as breast cancer.

On average, 3300 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, and 80% of patients diagnosed will die within 12 months.

However, pancreatic cancer trails behind other cancers when it comes to funding for research, receiving less than 8% of funding available.

Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation calls for help

 The organisation is convening a high-level meeting at Parliament House on February 12, with senior stakeholders across the medical field to be addressed by expert speakers.

Avner Foundation outlines the national response needed in the Pancreatic Cancer: The Cancer of Our Generation Report. The report coins a $52 million plan for significant investment in research.

Avner Foundation’s National Response Outline

  1. Fast track research, specifically in four key areas:
  • Identification of biomarkers to assist with early detection.
  • Identify why pancreatic cancer is resistant to existing cancer therapies.
  • Gain a greater understanding of the pancreatic cancer microenvironment.
  • Identify new therapies for pancreatic cancer, including the repurposing of existing treatments.
  1. Develop a patient and carer support hub:
  • Create a single pathway to ensure Australians affected by pancreatic cancer can gain instant support, guidance and care.
  • Create a unified body that can advocate for change and raise awareness of the unique challenges that pancreatic cancer presents.
  1. Create Networks of Excellence for Patient Treatment
  • Allow clinicians and researchers from research and medical institutions across Australia to collaborate and share knowledge.
  • Provide an avenue for collaboration with international researchers to accelerate new treatments.

“To achieve equity of survival outcomes with other cancers, all key stakeholder groups must work together to dramatically accelerate the progress in this disease,” says CEO of the Avner Foundation, Michelle Stewart.

“We know what we need to do, but we need help to do it.”

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