In the past couple of years, we have lost several notable individuals to pancreatic cancer – musical genius Luciano Pavarotti, Nobel Laureate Ralph Steinman and now Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs.
There are few treatment options for patients with pancreatic cancer and their prognosis is extremely poor; the five-year relative survival rate is less than five percent.
It’s grim story that may have a happier ending at some point. You may recall my mentioning that nearly 50% of the cancer drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the past decade were first approved to treat patients with a form of blood cancer and that many are now commonly used to treat other patients. Well, a couple of these shining stars are showing promise against pancreatic cancer.
LLS helped advance this therapy for myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. Based on exciting laboratory results, Revlimid is now being tested with a standard chemotherapy in clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients.
This LLS-funded drug kills cancer cells by reprogramming critical gene activities. It is an approved therapy for certain lymphomas and in clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients.
Revlimid and Zolinza are just two examples of how LLS-funded research is having an application beyond blood cancer. And not just pancreatic cancer, but breast cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer and more.
In a way, your support of LLS is like an investment in the future geniuses of the world. So thank you!
To learn more about how LLS is going beyond blood cancer, visit http://www.lls.org/#/aboutlls/researchsuccesses/.