January 8, 2013


Increased Clinical Trial Participation Needed to Improve Survival of Pancreatic Cancer, the Fourth Leading Cause of Cancer Death in the United States

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (January 8, 2013) — January is National Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials Awareness Month and as part of this initiative, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is calling attention to the need for increased clinical trial participation to help improve patient outcomes for pancreatic cancer. Currently, few effective treatment options exist for patients. In 2012, nearly 44,000 Americans were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 37,000 died from the disease. Sadly, 74 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within a year of diagnosis and just six percent survive five years. Because of these staggering statistics, clinical trials represent hope for pancreatic cancer patients.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s goal is to double the survival rate for pancreatic cancer by 2020. Increasing enrollment in clinical trials will lead to better treatment options and improve survival rates as has been seen in other diseases. Recent analysis of 2011 data on clinical trials revealed 4.5 percent of pancreatic cancer patients participated in clinical trials, slightly higher than a national estimate of approximately 3 percent for adult cancer patient clinical trial participation. But by comparison, participation in clinical trials for childhood cancers is an impressive 60 percent and 90 percent for patients under five years old. As a result, the five year survival rate of childhood cancers is 83 percent.

“The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network recognizes that clinical trials support treatment advances and help speed scientific progress toward therapeutic breakthroughs and therefore recommends that all patients consider clinical trials when exploring treatment options,” stated Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “Further, clinical trials provide access to state-of-the-art treatment which often is a patient’s best option.”

In particular for pancreatic cancer, the current lack of effective treatment options for patients make clinical trials an extremely important part of the research process as scientists seek new, better treatments that will ultimately increase survival. The organization’s PanCAN Patient Services educates patients and caregivers about their options and the value of clinical trials and conducts personalized searches in the organization’s comprehensive, proprietary, one of a kind clinical trials database to determine potential eligibility.

To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its PanCAN Patient Services program, visit www.pancan.org/pals.

About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative — The Vision of Progress: Double the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, better treatments and increase chances of survival. The organization also leads the Deadly Cancer Coalition, organizations representing the nation’s deadliest cancers defined as those cancers with a five-year survival rate of less than fifty percent. Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest with a five-year survival rate of just six percent.


Jennifer Rosen
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Direct: 310-706-3362