publication date: Mar. 7, 2014


By Matthew Bin Han Ong

NCI has issued a report detailing a “scientific framework” for advancing research on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, indicating potential new funding opportunities for genomic studies for early detection of pancreatic cancer.

The institute’s report is the result of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, a bill proposed by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and passed Jan. 2, 2013.

The bill mandates NCI to identify, within six months, two or more cancers with a five-year survival rate of less than 20 percent. The director of the institute will then convene a working group of experts to identify research questions and recommend, within 18 months, actions that should be taken to advance research on these cancers.

The version signed into law watered down the original controversial measure, which, according to critics, threatened to touch off a “disease Olympics” and dilute NCI’s authority to set research strategy (The Cancer Letter, Aug. 3, 2012).

According to the report, initiatives that have been proposed to expand PDAC research include:

• Understanding the biological relationship between PDAC and diabetes mellitus

• Evaluating longitudinal screening protocols for biomarkers for early detection of PDAC and its precursors

• Studying new therapeutic strategies in immunotherapy

• Developing new treatment approaches that interfere with RAS oncogene-dependent signaling pathways

“Each year, tens of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and those numbers have steadily increased for more than a decade,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, … Continue reading 40-10 Pancreatic Cancer Report

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