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Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month: 2019 Immunotherapy Research Update

November 21, 2019

Earlier this year, many were shocked to learn that Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, is battling pancreatic cancer. He is one of an estimated 460,000 people globally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. As the world’s most lethal cancer, new and better treatment options are urgently needed.

This November for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, we look at promising research—early results, preclinical studies, new understanding—and how we can build on that promise to create a future immune to pancreatic cancer. 

Dr. Gulam Manji on the Tumor Microenvironment

During the research update panel at the 2019 CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit in New York City, Gulam Manji, M.D., Ph.D., of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, discussed how the pancreas is like a fortress and why this makes pancreatic cancer treatment particularly difficult.

Pancreatic Cancer Patient Story

After having surgery to remove his tumor, Jesse enrolled in a clinical trial of a cancer vaccine. As a retired pharmacist, he knew his participation was vital to moving new treatments like this forward.

Read Jesse’s Pancreatic Cancer Story

Pancreatic Cancer Scientist Spotlight

CRI CLIP Investigator Ruth Ganss, Ph.D., has developed a new treatment called LIGHT-VTP therapy, which specifically targets the abnormal blood vessels present in solid cancers, restores vessel function, and enables immune cells to deeply infiltrate the cancer. CRI is supporting her preclinical studies to expand LIGHT-VTP applications to more cancers, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Learn about Dr. Ganss’s Pancreatic Cancer Research

Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer
Information Updated

There are currently no FDA-approved immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer, but there is a significant amount of promising research to address this deadly cancer. With every new breakthrough in immunotherapy, we keep our pancreatic cancer immunotherapy information up to date.

View Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer Webpage

Find a Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trial

Hundreds of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. Our Clinical Trial Finder will match you to trials for which you may be eligible, and you can help speed the development of lifesaving drugs for yourself and others.

Find a Cancer Clinical Trial

Support Pancreatic Cancer Research

At the Cancer Research Institute, we're proud to be funding a Phase 1b clinical trial in pancreatic cancer that has already produced some promising early results. Combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy led to significant tumor shrinkage in more than half of evaluable patients in the study—twice as many as seen in patients treated with chemotherapy alone. This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.

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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.