When we say PanCAN fights pancreatic cancer in a comprehensive way, we mean it.
PanCAN directly funds transformative research – everything from early detection to innovative new treatment approaches. We provide free resources and information about treatment options, diet and nutrition, support and more through our PanCAN Patient Services program. We build community across the country through volunteerism and our annual walk PanCAN PurpleStride.
And we are the uniting force for thousands of grassroots advocates to urge Congress to increase federal research funding for pancreatic cancer. Why? Because nearly 80% of all pancreatic cancer research funding comes from the federal government, with the majority coming from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
“It’s of utmost importance to ensure resources and focus continue for the world’s toughest cancer,” said Meaghan Slater, Senior Director of Advocacy and Mission. That’s why our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill are year-round – because there’s no time to waste.
So, what makes up the other 20% of pancreatic cancer research funding? Organizations like PanCAN. PanCAN receives no government support and relies on the generosity of our donors to fund our critical programs. PanCAN donors have invested $174 million in our research programs, including our competitive Research Grants Program, since 2003.
PanCAN’s mission is to take bold action to improve the lives of everyone impacted by pancreatic cancer. This is the foundation of our advocacy program – PanCAN doesn’t work in a silo, we look at all avenues that will help us create a world where all patients will thrive.
That includes setting up researchers for success through PanCAN scientific research grants so they can go on to get additional funding through government programs. In fact, for every $1 we invested in our grant recipients from 2003 to 2019, they were able to go on to receive an average of $11.50 in subsequent funding to support their research.
But if the federal government hasn’t allocated enough to fund these projects, quality science is left unfunded, which is why we need advocates to push for an increase in federal funding at every opportunity.
One researcher who has benefited from both PanCAN and federal funding is Cosimo Commisso, PhD, an associate professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys. He knows firsthand how PanCAN funding can impact researchers’ abilities to get federal funding.
“Receiving the Career Development Award from PanCAN showed my institution – and other funding agencies – that I could get an independent grant right away,” he said. “The federal funding that I’ve received since then is critical to sustain the lab, allow the research to continue and help me focus on the science.”
We’ve helped increase NCI pancreatic cancer research funding from $17 million in 1999, the year of our founding, to over $182 million in 2018. This is an increase of more than 970%. All due to the advocacy efforts of our PanCAN community.
“More researchers are focused on pancreatic cancer than ever before, and private funding like ours helps them gather the necessary preliminary data to receive large-scale awards from the NCI,” Slater said.
Our PanCAN advocates make it clear to Congress that sustained federal funding for pancreatic cancer is a national priority and that funding must continue to grow. Our donors keep our most vital programs funded. And those who do both are truly bringing PanCAN’s comprehensive approach to ending pancreatic cancer to life.
It takes a holistic approach to end pancreatic cancer, and advocacy is a major part of that approach. We are grateful for everyone’s contributions to helping patients thrive and encourage you to join in to make progress happen.