Funding Should Be Increased for Pancreatic Cancer Research

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The last 50 years have seen tremendous leaps in medicine and the treatment of diseases, as advances in technology and additional research have expanded our knowledge. However, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most lethal human cancers and continues to be a major unsolved health problem and challenge in 21st century. Thus, funding for pancreatic cancer should be increased dramatically as a critical requirement for progress will be the development of effective systemic treatments capable of reversing the aggressive biology of this disease.
Although it is “only” the ninth most common cancer it is ranks as the fourth deadliest, with the lowest survival rate of any cancer, ranging between 14% and 1% (Stage 1A and Stage IV, respectively (American Cancer Society 2014). Close to 100% of patients with pancreatic cancer develop metastases, leading to debilitating metabolic effects due to the cancer’s unrestrained growth, and almost certain death (Li D et al. 2004). Since 1975, the number of deaths from pancreatic cancer have stayed constant despite continued medical innovation and new research. This year, 2014, an estimated 46,420 adults (23,530 men and 22,890 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and further 39,590 adults (20,170 men and 19,420 women) will die form from this disease (National Institute of Health).
Pancreatic cancer has proven to be one of the most challenging cancers to detect and treat due to early symptoms of pancreatic cancer often mimicking other benign conditions. This is further complicated by the absence of effective screening tests for the general population, which leads to patients being diagnosed at an advanced stage when therapies have limited effect.
Treatment for pancreat...

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..., posted Feb 3, 2014; accessed May 23, 2014.

Li D., Xie K., Wolff R., and Abbruzzese J. L. 2004. “Pancreatic Cancer.” The Lancet 363:1049-1057. National Institute of Health, n.d. “SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Pancreas Cancer.” http://, n.d.; accessed May 22, 2014.

Von Hoff D. D., Ervin T., Arena F. P., Chiorean, E. G., Infante J., Moore M., Seay T., Tjulandin S. A., Ma W. W., Saleh M. N., Harris M., Reni M., Dowden S., Laheru D., Bahary N., Ramanathan R. K., Tabernero J., Hidalgo M., Goldstein D., Van Cutsem E., Wei X., Iglesias J., and Renschler M.F., 2013. “Increased Survival in Pancreatic Cancer with nab- Paclitaxel plus Gemcitabine.” The New England Journal of Medicine 369:1691-1703.

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