Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS
The momentum in the pancreatic cancer research community
is growing. More scientists are studying the disease than ever
before, leading to an increase in our basic understanding of the
biology of pancreatic cancer development and progression. The
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is working closely with the
scientific community to ensure that progress continues, by directly
funding research, advocating for more resources from the federal
government, and facilitating interactions and collaborations within the community. Together, we are
going to make breakthroughs to translate promising ideas into clinical benefit and move towards the
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s goal to double the survival rate of pancreatic cancer by 2020.
Our strategy is working. A careful evaluation of our research grants program in 2011 yielded very
encouraging results. Investigators who received grants between 2003 and 2009 were analyzed and we
found that our grant recipients are staying in the field of pancreatic cancer and receiving impressive
funding to support subsequent research: $8.61 for every $1 invested by the Pancreatic Cancer Action
Network. Additionally, they successfully published their findings in reputable biomedical journals.
This analysis will be repeated in 2013 and continue on a biennial basis moving forward.
Research Highlights 2011–’12
In 2011–’12, the organization awarded 14 research grants totaling more than $3.4 million, bringing the
cumulative total of funding distributed since the grants program’s inception to $12.7 million. Our grants
program is administered in partnership with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR),
the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world focused on cancer. The partnership with AACR
ensures rigorous peer review of grant applications and funding of the highest quality science.
In addition to the distribution of research funds, current and past grant recipients become part of our
Community for Progress and are paired with mentors, participate in high-level scientific meetings and
join professional committees, develop research collaborations, and are connected with survivors and
their family members to help inspire research progress.
A testament to the growth and momentum in the field was the first AACR Pancreatic Cancer Special
Conference in June 2012, for which the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network was the lead supporter.
Impressively, over 450 scientists registered for the event, and the quantity and quality of research
presented were remarkable. The expansion of knowledge about the basic scientific features of pancreatic
tumors leaves us poised to translate these findings into clinical benefit.