UCLA along with two other UCs, as part of the UC Pancreatic Cancer Consortium, has been awarded a total of $1.5 million from the Canopy Cancer Collective to help improve patient outcomes. Canopy joins the long-standing efforts of the Hirshberg Foundation in advocating for and advancing patient care.
The UC Pancreatic Cancer Consortium (UCPCC) brings together the five UC campuses with medical schools – Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco – to unite pancreatic cancer scientists and clinicians in order to accelerate the progress and impact of their work. The vision to improve the lives of persons diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by translating innovative research into improved clinical care dovetails with the Canopy’s goal to empower pancreatic cancer patients with new hope, treatments, and options. Agi Hirshberg, Founder and President of the Hirshberg Foundation, is honored to preside as the Chair of the Patient Advocacy Council for the UCPCC.
UC Los Angeles, UC San Francisco and UC San Diego each received a $500,000 three-year grant for the implementation of integrated multidisciplinary care to improve the outcomes and well-being for all patients with pancreatic cancer. Their additional support builds upon the Hirshberg Foundation’s work to center patient well-being as an integral part of the cancer treatment process, for without psychosocial care, true wellness cannot be achieved. Canopy Cancer Collective aims to provide the best available care for pancreatic cancer patients by connecting multiple institutions to foster collaboration among the top care-providers, coordinate impactful patient services and deliver innovative, comprehensive, and effective care to their patients.
Timothy Donahue, MD, chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the Physician Champion leading the project through the Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases, along with other great pancreas institutions across the country. This grant will expand upon and deliver more coordinated care in the Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases’ Westwood IPU clinic and ultimately throughout the entire UCLA Health network.
Through this initiative, UCLA plans to improve and standardize pancreatic cancer care by focusing on nutrition, palliative care, genetic testing, clinical trial participation, quality of life, and patient education. One goal is to expand germline testing services to all pancreatic cancer patients in the UCLA Health Network, which has already seen a marked increase in referrals from 2019. Another area of interest is nutrition, a topic we know is crucial and front-of-mind for patients and families. As part of the Canopy Cancer Collective, one goal is to provide nutrition support for all pancreatic cancer patients at UCLA. To that end, the IPU now includes a nutritionist on staff to provide nutrition assessment and intervention through the pre-operative and post-operative phases of surgery.
The other main objective of the Canopy Cancer Collective is to ensure that all pancreatic cancer patients in the UCLA Health Network, extending as far north as San Luis Obispo to Laguna Beach in the south, receive the same exceptional level of care established at the Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases. One aspect of this is the Clinical Quality Improvement Database, allowing doctors and staff to know in real-time every patient who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This allows those patients to receive genetic testing, nutritional support, clinical trial information and more.
We are honored to have the Canopy Cancer Collective join the Hirshberg Foundation’s work to improve patient care and are excited to see pancreatic cancer providers collaborating to give patient new hope. The Canopy Cancer Collective Pancreatic Learning Health Network, funded through the 1440 Foundation, aims to help cancer centers deliver comprehensive, coordinated care to people with pancreatic cancer. These exciting collaborative projects are creating improved treatment options and better patient outcomes for all.