Lustgarten Foundation Awards $25 Million for Pancreatic Cancer Research

The Lustgarten Foundation in Bethpage, New York, has announced grants totaling $25 million to advance pancreatic cancer research.

Grants were awarded to eighteen scientific and medical institutions working to develop and test early-detection methods and better therapeutic options. The recipients include Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

A portion of the grant funding will be used to advance several new clinical trials designed to detect pancreatic cancer earlier, which, because there are no early-detection tests for the disease at the moment, is a critical area of research. Another clinical trial will explore whether a revolutionary immunotherapy approach can be used to treat the disease.

Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal of all cancers, with only 6 percent of individuals diagnosed with the disease surviving five years. Since it was created in 1998, the Lustgarten Foundation has awarded more than $65 million in support of pancreatic cancer research.

"The Lustgarten Foundation is contributing this significant funding to accelerate the movement of successful research results from the lab into clinical trials so we can directly impact the treatment of individuals with pancreatic cancer and develop life-saving tests and more effective therapies," said the foundation's director of research David Tuveson. "The urgent need for additional funding and a scientific framework for action were even recognized by Congress and President Barack Obama when they passed and signed into law the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act. We look forward to working with the National Cancer Institute on further progress in this area."