Pancreatic Cancer Collective Announces New PSA Campaign with Keesha Sharp to Raise Awareness about Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials
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NEW YORK – The Pancreatic Cancer Collective, an initiative of the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), announced today the launch of a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign, in collaboration with SU2C Ambassador and actress, writer and director Keesha Sharp, to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer research. The campaign launches with a print PSA on Thursday, Nov. 19—World Pancreatic Cancer Day—placed across print, digital and out-of-home outlets. An animated broadcast PSA, which explores the life and survivorship journey of Pancreatic Cancer Collective clinical trial participant Bob Minetti and features voiceover by Sharp, will follow in December.
Keesha Sharp, whose credits include Marshall (2017) and FOX’s Empire and Lethal Weapon, lost her mother to pancreatic cancer earlier this year. She is now making it her mission to ensure that every family—including Black families, who face a higher incidence rate of pancreatic cancer—knows their options when it comes to treatment.
“Losing my mother to pancreatic cancer was devastating but throughout that experience, I was determined to help prevent others from going through it. I was saddened to realize that many don’t know where to turn for answers including those in underserved communities,” said Sharp. “I hope that by sharing my experience and collaborating with the Pancreatic Cancer Collective for this campaign, I can help raise awareness about the existence of cancer clinical trials as an option, as well as the importance of continuing to fund them.”
Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., and Black Americans have around a 20% higher incidence rate than any other racial or ethnic group. While pancreatic cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments, they often have low participation by racial and ethnic minorities. The Pancreatic Cancer Collective’s new campaign aims to raise awareness about treatment options to increase diversity in pancreatic cancer clinical trials to ensure patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds benefit equally from the potential of cancer treatments.
“This campaign is critical to driving awareness, especially in medically underserved communities, about the incredible potential of pancreatic cancer clinical trials,” said Kerri Kaplan, President and CEO of the Lustgarten Foundation. “Through the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer have demonstrated a shared commitment to better understanding and treating this disease, and we hope to continue harnessing the power of our collaboration to ensure breakthroughs in pancreatic cancer research benefit patients in every community.”
“Since the Pancreatic Cancer Collective was launched, nine world-class research teams have made great progress against pancreatic cancer,” said Sung Poblete, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “Pancreatic cancer has taken too many lives from us, from our beloved national figures to our loved ones at home. We are grateful to the Lustgarten Foundation and to Keesha Sharp, whose passion for raising awareness and funds for cancer research allows us to expand this important and lifesaving work.”
The Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer have joined forces against pancreatic cancer since 2012, jointly funding more than 400 investigators from nearly 70 leading research centers in the United States and the United Kingdom. These efforts include 17 multi-institutional teams, including Convergence Teams bringing together computational experts with clinical oncologists, and teams researching cancer interception—studies focused on the earliest diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, even before the cancer may have fully formed. These collaborative teams have planned, started, or completed nearly 36 clinical trials and The Pancreatic Cancer Collective is building on this momentum to further push the boundaries of what can be accomplished.
The animated PSA is directed by Kelsey Laroche for Florence, a culture-driven creative studio representing a diverse collective of creative talent who share a passion for making a positive impact on culture. Laroche is an award-winning director whose films have been screened at Tribeca, Palm Springs International Shorts and SXSW, and whose commercial work includes Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and ESPN.
For more information, visit PancreaticCancerCollective.org.