On March 23 and 24, Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s president and CEO, was invited to speak twice at the prestigious Health Research Alliance (HRA) spring members’ meeting. She provided an organizational overview on Thursday afternoon and participated in a lively discussion about how nonprofit organizations can accelerate clinical progress on Friday morning.
Approximately 100 people attended the spring members’ meeting, representing organizations focused on various cancer types, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and many other conditions. The meeting took place in Manhattan Beach, Calif., right up the street from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network national office. We proudly served as a co-sponsor for this meeting.
HRA is a robust group of leading nonprofit organizations and foundations that fund biomedical research with the universal goal of improving human health. HRA was formed in 2005 by seven organizations – and now it’s grown to 75 member foundations!
Alongside speakers from other leading organizations and in front of a rapt audience, Fleshman presented our Know Your Tumor® precision medicine service and Precision PromiseSM clinical trial platform on Friday morning.
“We’ve worked very hard to increase pancreatic cancer patients’ enrollment in clinical trials, and we’ve seen that people who contact our PanCAN Patient Services have a much higher likelihood of enrolling,” Fleshman noted. “But we also recognized a need for smarter clinical trials that are based on rigorous scientific and clinical evidence.”
Through Know Your Tumor, eligible patients can access molecular profiling of their tumors, and they and their oncologists receive a customized report of the alterations specific to their tumor and treatment options that may be best for them.
“To date, we’ve enrolled more than 1,000 patients in Know Your Tumor,” commented Fleshman. “And we have been very encouraged to see that nearly half of the reports provided have shown an ‘actionable’ mutation – meaning that we’ve been able to offer meaningful personalized treatment options for that particular patient.”
Fleshman next discussed Precision Promise, the first large-scale precision medicine clinical trial for patients with pancreatic cancer. With Precision Promise, we seek to transform outcomes for all pancreatic cancer patients through a research and clinical trials platform that creates a culture of cooperation and learning among clinicians, researchers and diagnostic and drug developers, and that puts the patient at the center of every decision.
Precision Promise will begin enrolling patients in 2017.
“Engaging with other biomedical research organizations of various sizes and focus areas allows us to share strategies and successes and to gain insight from each other’s lessons learned,” added Fleshman.
“I was honored to be invited to speak at the Health Research Alliance spring members’ meeting and came away with new ideas, new relationships and an invigorated sense of hope that we are on the right path to doubling pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.”
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s leading-edge research and clinical initiatives, contact PanCAN Patient Services today.