Early Detection Initiative
Lustgarten Foundation-Funded Research Study Holds
Potential to Detect Pancreatic Cancer at Earliest Stages
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center announced results from a new research study that holds the potential to detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage by determining harmless pancreatic cysts from precancerous ones. Published in the July 20 edition of the prestigious Science Transnational Medicine, the research study was primarily funded by The Lustgarten Foundation and represents the first study from projects that were created through The Lustgarten Foundation’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Consortium.
Led by Dr. Bert Vogelstein, a Pancreatic Cancer Research Consortium member and scientific advisor of The Lustgarten Foundation, the research is a cooperative effort between Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in collaboration with Indiana University. Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan Kettering both serve on the Foundation’s Consortium. Created in 2010, the Consortium is a collaboration involving six world-renowned medical institutions to advance the most promising research initiatives aimed at ultimately finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.
A significant percentage of pancreatic cancers begin as pancreatic cysts, fluid filled growths in the pancreas. This study has uncovered a specific combination of gene mutations that can distinguish cancerous cysts from some non-cancerous cysts by obtaining small volumes of liquid obtained from patients by needle biopsy. This is a critical step toward early detection that holds the potential for testing cysts that have been discovered through imaging technologies, like an MRI, using endoscopy techniques (similar to a colonoscopy). Dangerous cysts would be removed immediately, before they became a malignant cancer, and benign cysts could safely be left alone without the risks of unnecessary surgery.
For more information, please see the full press release from Johns Hopkins.
Resources for Familial and Early Detection Screening
Indiana University School of Medicine
975 W. Walnut Street, #130
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Pancreatic Cyst and Cancer Early Detection Center
The mission of the center is to promote early detection and prevent pancreatic cancer through multidisciplinary screening clinics, registries, community outreach, education and research discovery. The roster serves as a resource for researchers studying the causes of pancreatic cancer as well as researchers studying screening methods for pancreatic cancer. Individuals in the roster are eligible for pancreatic cancer research studies conducted at Indiana University or at other academic centers in the United States.
Dr. C. Max Schmidt
Johns Hopkins Hospital
1550 Orleans Street, CRB II
Baltimore, MD 21231
The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center
National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry - The registry has led the way in demonstrating that pancreatic cancer does cluster in families and that there is likely to be a genetic cause of this clustering. This work has demonstrated that individuals from familial pancreatic cancer families have a nine-fold increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Alison P. Klein
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Pancreatic Cancer Tumor Registry - A unique research initiative called the Pancreatic Tumor Registry looks for causes of pancreatic cancer in people with a family history of the disease. Data from the registry will also help to determine whether screening for pancreatic cancer in healthy people with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer is useful.
Robert C. Kurtz
University of Virginia Health System
1215 Lee Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Columbia University Medical Center
177 Fort Washington Ave.
New York, NY 10032
Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention and Genetics Program - a program focused on prevention techniques and the role of genetics as it relates to the development of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program - A unique clinic specifically focused on managing pancreatic cysts so that they do not develop into cancer.
Donald Garmon, NP
Tamas A. Gonda, MD
Frank G. Gress, MD
Beth Schrope, MD
University of California - San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
1600 Divisadero Street, Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-1705
Pancreas Cancer Research Program - The program conducts large population-based, case-control studies of pancreatic cancer. Its researchers in Epidemiology and Biostatistics lead laboratory and clinic-based studies of the molecular epidemiology of pancreatic cancer.
University of Pennsylvania
Abramson Cancer Center
3535 Market Street, Suite 750
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk Evaluation Program - nationally recognized for their expertise in cancer and genetics and can provide information, care and support to help patients throughout the entire risk evaluation program.
Oncology & Hematology of White Plains,
White Plains Hospital Physician Associates
244 Westchester Avenue, Suite 411
White Plains, NY 10604
This program uses a risk of about 5x the general population (or about 7.5% lifetime risk) as their definition for elevated risk, whether it be family history, genetic mutations, or other medical conditions.
Dr. Joshua P. Raff
Winthrop University Hospital Pancreatic Health Program
120 Mineola Blvd., Suite 320
Mineola, NY 11501
Two full time geneticists work with the medical faculty to identify patients at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer. Within the high risk registry, patients are screened for precursors of pancreatic cancer with the aim of preventing the disease before it develops.
Dr. John D. Allendorf