In an effort to improve treatment and one day find a cure for pancreatic cancer, the TGen Foundation today joined with key donors and community leaders to announce the creation of globalCure.
The backbone of globalCure is an alliance between TGen and the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team (PCRT), which includes leading pancreatic cancer scientists, physicians and researchers, armed with the most technologically advanced tools and resources, at 46 institutions worldwide.
Pancreatic cancer claims the lives of more than 42,000 Americans and more than 235,000 people worldwide annually, making it the fourth-leading cause of cancer death.
Funds generated through globalCure will enable an international team of physicians to move quickly on promising new clinical therapies. Specifically, the funds will enable globalCure supported scientists and clinicians to: identify biomarkers of diagnostic value, as well as those that constitute new drug targets in pancreatic cancer; identify and optimize new agents that affect the activity of those targets; and evaluate new agents and take the most promising ones to clinical trials for patients in advanced stages of the disease.
"The globalCure initiative is a coordinated world wide effort to extend the lives of patients battling pancreatic cancer right now with the ultimate goal of curing this disease," said Derrick Hall, President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks and a member of the globalCure National Advisory Council.
Research and clinical efforts supported by globalCure will focus on identifying genes that may reveal a predisposition to getting the disease, and understanding the genetic changes contributing to disease progression and resis¬tance to therapy.
Strategically, the initiative seeks to impact the lives of patients with pancreatic cancer by first extending their life expectancy.
Oncologists participating in globalCure, including TGen Physician-In-Chief, Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, already are seeing positive results.
For example, Howard Young is an Atlanta businessman and pancreatic cancer patient whose treatment under Dr. Von Hoff has resulted in a complete remission of his disease.
"I have pancreatic cancer, but I am blessed to know and be treated by Dr. Von Hoff and the extremely talented team at TGen. They saved my life and they will save the lives of over 235,000 people each year when we cure this cancer," said Young, a member of the TGen Foundation Board of Directors and Chairman of the globalCure National Advisory Council.
Through the PCRT and its international partnerships with academic, clinical, and corporate entities, globalCure is working to turn promising clinical therapies into improved healthcare methods, and do so more rapidly than ever. Experiments impossible only a few years ago now occur daily, leading to earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments.
"PCRT members represent the world's leading pancreatic cancer physicians and researchers, developing sophisticated clinical investigation techniques and promising new pan¬creatic cancer therapies in large patient populations," said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff.
As new understandings about the underlying genetic causes of the disease and its resistance to traditional treatments are made, globalCure will quickly communicate them to the international medical community for the ultimate benefit of patients and their families.
"I never thought about pancreatic cancer until the day doctors diagnosed my mother, Seena, with the disease. At that time, there were few places I could turn for information. My hope is that globalCure will not only provide a place where newly diagnosed patients and their families can turn for information, but that our work will provide hope for a cure," said globalCure national advisory council member Roger Magowitz.
The globalCure website is available at: www.gcure.org