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Career Development Awards Announced

The inaugural winners of the Lustgarten Foundation-AACR Career Development Awards for Pancreatic Cancer Research in Honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Robert Lewis were announced at the 2021 AACR annual meeting. For Dr. Avery Posey it was a bout with chickenpox when he was in 4th grade that spurred his interest in science. He was quarantined in one room for about a week and still remembers his grandmother lovingly applying calamine lotion to his blisters. “I was miserable, itchy, missed school, missed my friends, and all I kept thinking was there had to be a way to prevent this,” Posey says. A few years later, the chickenpox vaccine was unveiled and “most kids today don’t even know what chickenpox is,” he continues. “I thought for a while I wanted to be a doctor, but I realized in undergraduate school that real important changes in how we look at disease and treat disease is due to research.” Dr. Dannielle Engle thought she was going to be a violinist, a virtuoso maybe along the lines of Joshua Bell. She started college majoring in music, but switched gears and wound up majoring in biology. When she took a low-level job in a research lab while still an undergrad, it was the fruit fly and its simple genetic structure as well as the creativity shown by the investigators with whom she worked that made her realize science was her calling. “I was a pretty good violinist, not great,” she laughs. “But I got completely hooked on my work in the lab and I knew at that point my future was in research.”

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International Pancreatic Cancer Trial opens

 Researchers testing organoids use in predicting treatment outcomes

A new team of pioneering pancreatic cancer researchers has been formed to predict which treatments might work best for individual pancreatic cancer patients based on the molecular traits of tumors. The Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team is funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, an initiative of the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C), SU2C Canada and Pancreatic Cancer Canada. The team will be led by Jennifer Knox, MD, the Lewitt Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, part of University Health Network, and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada, and Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, a professor of oncology and deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Remembering Stephen Grand

Stephen Grand: Pancreatic Cancer Fighter and Research Funder

Our hearts are broken at the news of the passing of Lustgarten ally and donor, Stephen Grand of Belvedere, CA. A passionate and insightful philanthropist, as well as a pancreatic cancer patient, Steve was in the unique position of understanding the urgency of moving the research along quickly and the need to invest in the most innovative science with the greatest opportunity to drive real progress. Tomorrow is promised to no one, but Steve’s hope was that through his philanthropy pancreatic patients like himself would someday be promised more time.

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Welcome to LustgartenLIVE! a new quarterly series of webinars designed to bring you face-to-face with the best researchers investigating pancreatic cancer. Moderated by Andrew Rakeman, PhD , Vice President of Research, each webinar in the series will focus on a different aspect of the research funded through your donations. Hope is on the horizon! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for Early Detection: The Path Forward.
Though pancreatic cancer is considered a rare disease, it remains the third-leading cause of cancer-related death. Because we know earlier detection plays a key factor in saving and extending lives, the Lustgarten Foundation has designated early detection as a research funding priority. In this live discussion you’ll have access to the latest information from the lead scientists behind two of the most promising advances in early detection screenings:

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Donor Helps Bring Science to Clinic

Lustgarten Foundation receives $424,0000 grant establishing the Gail V. Coleman and Kenneth M. Bruntel Organoids for Personalized Therapy Project Devastated by the loss of her husband Kenneth Bruntel to pancreatic cancer, Gail Coleman is laser-focused on funding research offering hope and better treatment options for patients with metastatic cancer. Coleman knows the devastation of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis all too well, having also lost her 66-year-old mother followed by her 80-year-old father to the disease. Pancreatic cancer is considered a rare disease; that Coleman lost three of the people most precious to her to this cancer is wrenching. “I was very upset to learn there were still no good treatments for people with stage four pancreatic cancer when Ken was diagnosed,” Coleman said. “After Ken died, I spent a lot of time educating myself about pancreatic cancer research and decided to use Ken’s retirement fund to help advance this research. I concluded that translational research—which moves research from the laboratory to the clinic—offers the best chance for giving future patients some meaningful time after diagnosis. It also was important to me to invest in a project where our gift could make the most impact.”

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Meet Our New CEO

The Lustgarten Foundation today announced the appointment of Linda Tantawi as Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, Tantawi will expand the organization’s national presence to achieve its mission of finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Since 1998, the Lustgarten Foundation has been at the forefront of advancements in understanding the disease and developing new and more effective treatments.

Announcing Tantawi’s appointment, Foundation Chairman Andrew Lustgarten said: “With the incredible vision of the Foundation’s previous leaders, we’ve made important strides—taking pancreatic cancer from an unsupported ‘orphan disease,’ to one that is now supported by a robust research program. Linda’s leadership skills and extensive experience in fundraising for national cancer nonprofits will help take the Foundation, and the research we support, to the next level.”

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Interview With
An Expert

Interview With An Expert Clinical Trials Update Q&A with Allyson J. Ocean, M.D. Clinical trials are scientific experiments that move medicine forward to help people live longer and live well. Clinical trials are the backbone of advancing medicine, and in some instances, a clinical trial can lead to a cure for a disease. They involve rigorous study and are designed to answer many questions including if a potential treatment is safe, if it works, how it works, if it is more effective than other treatments currently available, if there are any side effects and which patients will benefit most from a particular treatment. Before any new cancer treatment is tested in people, it is studied extensively in the laboratory.

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Fund The Fight

ADVANCING SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS…AND HOPE DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT! GIFTS MADE BY MIDNIGHT ON DECEMBER 31, 2020, WILL BE MATCHED, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, UP TO $50,000! As a supporter of the Lustgarten Foundation, you know pancreatic cancer affects everyone in the family—something Danielle’s loved ones learned the hard way Bolstered by the love of her family—including her husband Michael and their two young sons, Gavin and Peter, and her brother Marc—Danielle faced the disease with optimism and bravery. Despite many rounds of chemotherapy, Danielle maintained a high quality of life for the first year following her diagnosis, and with Michael’s heroic support, she made it through a grueling Whipple procedure. However, several months later her cancer recurred, and the treatments were harder to take.

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2020 Holiday Bash

While we can’t be together for the Lustgarten Holiday Bash this year, raising funds for the Lustgarten Foundation has never been more important. This holiday season, as we continue to take precautions and put safety first, we’ll be hosting the Holiday Bash as an online fundraising campaign. Lustgarten-funded researchers are on the cusp of scientific discoveries that will undoubtedly change patients’ lives, and now, with your continued support, we will ensure many more patients become long-term survivors.Every dollar donated to the Lustgarten Holiday Bash will go directly to funding the most groundbreaking research. In appreciation of your generosity, we will be offering all donors the opportunity to take part in a series of exclusive celebrity “Thank You” events in 2021. We are grateful for your ongoing support. Thank You!  

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Fund The Fight

Fund The Fight

When you Fund The Fight against pancreatic cancer, you help keep life-changing research moving forward at an accelerated pace. You let everyone in the pancreatic cancer community—including patients, survivors, loved ones, doctors and researchers—know you’re committed to ensuring many more patients become long-term survivors and supporting the research to make that goal possible. Thanks to our GivingTuesday Donor Circle, every GivingTuesday gift made by midnight on December 1 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $125,000!* That means every dollar you donate becomes two, going twice as far to help pancreatic cancer patients and their families and advance innovative research. DONATE NOW and invite your friends and family to help Fund The Fight against pancreatic cancer by tagging us at @LustgartenFDN on social media and using #FundTheFight to help us find your posts. Remember, the Lustgarten Foundation is the only nonprofit that invests 100 percent of your DOUBLED donation directly to pancreatic cancer research, funding the fight for better treatments and an eventual cure.

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Pancreatic Cancer News

The Pancreatic Standard of Care is No Longer So Standard

20. 4. 21 ladmin
When doctors diagnose patients with pancreatic cancer, how do they decide which therapy to pursue? Are there standard protocols or guidelines that every doctor follows? Yes and no. For many diseases, including cancer, an expert panel of doctors gets together to agree upon drugs and therapies that should be used to treat the illness, based […]

Study sheds new light on the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metastasize

19. 4. 21 ladmin
With an overall survival rate of 9% for those diagnosed, pancreatic cancer remains exceedingly difficult to treat. However, the patient’s primary tumor typically isn’t what leads to death – it is the cancer’s ability to evade detection and metastasize to other organs. A team of researchers at the OU College of Medicine has published a […]

Voruciclib Regimens Demonstrate Preliminary Potency Against KRAS-Positive Cancers

10. 4. 21 ladmin
The early results showed that voruciclib led to a rapid decrease in the phosphorylation of proteins that promote MYC transcription and quickly decreases phosphorylation of MYC protein on Serine 62 (Ser62), which is a site implicated in stabilizing MYC in KRAS-mutant cancers. Treatment with voruciclib, a CDK9 inhibitor, as a monotherapy or in combination with […]

Immune-stimulating drug before surgery shows promise in early-stage pancreatic cancer

10. 4. 21 ladmin
Giving early-stage pancreatic cancer patients a CD40 immune-stimulating drug helped jumpstart a T cell attack to the notoriously stubborn tumor microenvironment before surgery and other treatments, according to a new study from researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at the University of Pennsylvania. Changing the microenvironment from so-called T cell “poor” to T cell “rich” […]

Mutant KRAS and p53 cooperate to drive pancreatic cancer metastasis

10. 4. 21 ladmin
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that mutant KRAS and p53, the most frequently mutated genes in pancreatic cancer, interact through the CREB1 protein to promote metastasis and tumor growth. Blocking CREB1 in preclinical models reversed these effects and reduced metastases, suggesting an important new therapeutic target for the […]

Saif Shares Key Treatment Considerations for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

9. 4. 21 ladmin
Wasif Saif, MD, discusses factors to consider when choosing a frontline treatment strategy in pancreatic cancer, highlights the hunt for helpful biomarkers of response to available options, and offers sequencing suggestions. For patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, approved treatment regimens come with a host of factors to consider, as far as how they will be […]

Clinical trial helps pancreatic cancer patients

25. 3. 21 ladmin
When doctors diagnosed Brenda Scully’s husband with inoperable pancreatic cancer, she was in shock. Brenda said she tried not to show her emotions to him, staying strong, “I just called the kids and cried to them. And they were very supportive. And I just said to Vince, well, we can deal with this.” But her […]

UCLA team receives $6 million from NIH to explore new pancreatic cancer therapies

25. 3. 21 ladmin
A team of researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded two research grants totaling $6 million from the National Institutes of Health to identify new ways to treat pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States, accounting for more than 47,000 deaths annually. […]

The Latest Quantified Self Trend: Whole-Body MRI

24. 3. 21 ladmin
I have always been interested in learning more about my body and how to use data to improve my health. When I had the opportunity to try a whole-body MRI scan from Prenuvo, a diagnostics company focusing on the early detection of cancer and other diseases, I was intrigued by what I learned. A magnetic […]

Scientists shrink pancreatic tumors by starving their cellular “neighbors

16. 3. 21 ladmin
Newswise — Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute demonstrated for the first time that blocking “cell drinking,” or macropinocytosis, in the thick tissue surrounding a pancreatic tumor slowed tumor growth—providing more evidence that macropinocytosis is a driver of pancreatic cancer growth and is an important therapeutic target. The study was published in Cancer Discovery, a journal […]

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