Spring has officially begun and with it comes optimism, progress and good news! We began this year’s Patient & Family Webinar series by celebrating long-term survivorship with participants from 3 continents! We are raising awareness for pancreatic cancer, and more importantly, connecting patients so that no one feels alone in their fight. We’ve witnessed research come to fruition in many ways this past year and are confident that our investigators are ready to change the course of pancreatic cancer. We look forward to sharing new research updates as our scientists collaborate and make leaps towards a cure.
Read on for the first exciting updates of 2021 in our Spring Edition of Momentum!
UCLA Study Finds Potential Combination Therapy to Suppress Pancreatic Tumor Growth
Dr. Donahue and a collaborative team at UCLA recently published research on a novel way to target crucial metabolic processes in pancreatic cancer tumor cells. The team found that pancreatic tumors with high type I IFN signaling, trigger a decrease in crucial cofactors for many molecular processes. The study revealed the use of NAMPT inhibitors paired with an increase in type I IFN signaling, showed not only decreased pancreatic tumor growth, but also resulted in fewer liver metastases.
Funded through the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases, this research builds on our years-long support of Dr. Donahue’s research. As Dr. Donahue told us, “This project is an example of how continuing to understand the biology of this disease will help us to improve the overall survival.”
Early Research Pays Off Big with $6M in NIH Funding
Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles have received two grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling over $6M to study the immunobiology of pancreatic tumors and develop an immunotherapy clinical trial. It was thanks to funding through the Hirshberg Foundation’s Seed Grant Program, that compelling preliminary data was generated to help secure this substantial NIH funding. These NIH grants demonstrate how our early investments in research continue to pay off.
As research deepens our understanding of pancreatic tumor development, novel strategies for prevention and treatment are possible.
Expanded Patient Resources Continue to Provide Hope & Strength
Over the past year, ensuring we continue to deliver outstanding patient and family support has been our top priority. It is thanks to your unwavering generosity that we have been able to strengthen our patient support program.
We’ve made updates to our website by focusing on our Patient & Family Resources to provide the most up-to-date information possible. From our new Caregivers page to expanded information on Genetic Counseling to Support Groups, we continue to develop resources for our pancreatic cancer community. If you or a loved one needs assistance, we are here to help. Contact Patient Support today.
Our Patient & Family Webinar Series Continues
We continue to provide our monthly Patient & Family Webinar Series library. In March, Dr. Jonathan King spoke about what happens in the pancreatic cancer operating room. He discussed what to prepare for before surgery, what to expect on the day of surgery and how to plan for the best post-surgical care. Later this month Dr. V. Raman Muthusamy will address the various types of pancreatic cysts, how they are diagnosed and treated, as well as what they mean for future pancreatic cancer risk. Plus, save the date for May 14th when Dr. McAllister will discuss the role of microbes in pancreatic cancer and June 11th when Dr. Suresh Chari will present his work on new-onset diabetes and pancreatic cancer. We hope you’ll join us on Zoom for these engaging topics.
The Hirshberg Training Team & LA Marathon are Back!
It’s the announcement our Hirshberg Training Team has been waiting for: the LA Marathon will return on November 7, 2021. The Hirshberg Training Team running in a marathon while raising funds for research has been a tradition like no other. As the vaccination rollout continues, city and state guidelines are becoming less restrictive and allowing us to enjoy the outdoor activities we love once again. We will continue to share information as it is provided, but one thing seems certain, we’re back!
Spring brings with it an excitement and eagerness to take action, to reunite with family and our communities, to return to the places and activities we have missed. The Hirshberg Foundation is optimistic to return to our vibrant in-person events this Fall, including both Tour de Pier and LA Cancer Challenge, while continuing to offer a virtual option for all.
We thank you for helping us make all these accomplishments possible. Every donation, every Facebook fundraiser, every social post and comment, every mention to a friend, all these small actions lead to making a difference for patients and families facing pancreatic cancer. We look forward to all we will be able to do together in 2021 and spring is just the start!