During Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the Anticancer Fund redoubles its efforts
BRUSSELS – The Anticancer Fund aims to intensify its commitment to helping patients confronted with pancreatic cancer and finding solutions for treatment. As November marks Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, we underscore the urgent need for dedicated research during a meeting of the European REMEDi4ALL consortium.
Facts at a glance:
- In 2022 more than 100,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the European Union.
- By the time pancreatic cancer is discovered, it is often at an advanced stage. This makes it harder to treat and contributes to the low survival rates.
- Out of every ten people diagnosed, only about one survives beyond five years.
Given the devastating nature of pancreatic cancer, focused research is not just an option; it is an imperative. At the Anticancer Fund, we are committed to expand our efforts by funding and promoting more clinical research in pancreatic cancer.
Striving for progress with repurposed drugs
In a stride towards advancing research and collaboration, two delegates from the Anticancer Fund will participate in the inaugural multi-stakeholder meeting of the European REMEDi4ALL Consortium held in Brussels, on the 14th of November: ‘Drug Repurposing, an Attractive Strategy in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment?’
The consortium, of which the Anticancer Fund is a key partner, asks whether drug repurposing, or using existing medications beyond their original indication, is a promising research avenue for treating pancreatic cancer.
Tackling challenges and paving the way
One hurdle inherent to pancreatic cancer is the heterogeneity between patients and even among the tumour cells. The selection of patients when testing a new (repurposed) drug requires a prior in-depth analysis of the tumour, a practice that is far from routine but already put into practice in one of the funded trials by the Anticancer Fund.
An extra challenge is that different patients have different research needs. Preventing recurrence in the relatively few patients whose cancer has been surgically removed is crucial. So is the need to test drugs in patients with advanced disease whose condition is usually poor.
Dr. Rooman is committed: “Knowing that pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, specifically dedicating research to it is a ‘must’ rather than ‘a good to have.’ This is why we, at the Anticancer Fund, will develop a whole programme, to give all these patients a chance and get on par with fellow cancer patients, many of them who already have effective treatments and even cures.”
Dr. Bouche underscores the Anticancer Fund’s existing portfolio of non-commercially driven clinical trials for pancreatic cancer and emphasises the organisation’s determination to expand these efforts globally. “The Anticancer Fund is now a proud member of Pancreatic Cancer Europe and the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. Through these partnerships, we aim to collaborate with international stakeholders, leveraging our expertise in drug repurposing and in clinical research, especially where the industry falls short."
Rolling up our sleeves
The Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to reflect on the massive needs of patients affected by this disease. Progress requires strong and sound research. We need collaboration, good drug candidates and funding for conducting the clinical trials our patients deserve.
The Anticancer Fund invites fellow advocates, researchers, and stakeholders to join hands in the pursuit of innovative solutions to tackle pancreatic cancer and improve the lives of those affected. Understanding the magnitude of pancreatic cancer is vital, and together we can make a meaningful difference.
More on how we invest in fighting pancreatic cancer