When diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer, a patient faces unfavorable odds. Maintaining real hope is difficult when only 9 percent of patients survive five years.

But there is a place where hope lives, and that’s under the care of a clinical trial. Research has shown that the average one-year survival rate for metastatic patients is nearly double for those enrolled in a clinical trial.

Destroy Pancreatic Cancer’s laser-focused mission is to fund clinical trials in Atlanta.

In collaboration with The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Piedmont Cancer Institute, Destroy Pancreatic Cancer is funding one of six, concurrent clinical trials. TGen is the undisputed leader in discovering advances that lead to new standard of care. From 1990-present, only five of 45 trials have been proven to extend survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. TGen was involved in three of them!

Simply put, TGen saves lives. And through its research, today brings an unprecedented opportunity to destroy this disease. The current three-drug regimen that was developed with the support of three wonderful organizations gives critical knowledge to bring the tumor shrinkage rate from 71-100 percent.

The research and medical teams are ready to save lives—just as soon as we raise $2.4M.

The Final Assault trial funded by Destroy Pancreatic Cancer will benefit patients in the Atlanta, GA area with treatment directed by TGen and Piedmont Cancer Institute. The trial will launch with ten patients, and if proven successful by a 100 percent response rate or 50 percent complete remission, enrollment will be expanded by 15 patients. Upon completion of a successful two-part clinical trial, the trial will be expanded. If results hold up, TGen and Piedmont Cancer Institute will work with pharmaceutical companies to move the therapy towards standard of care.

Meet Dr. Perry Ballard

Dr. Ballard is a medical oncologist and co-founder of Piedmont Cancer Institute, P.C. He has been listed as one of the “Top Doctors” in his field in Atlanta Magazine, as well as being listed in the directory of “Best Doctors in America.” He cares for his patients with an authentic sense of compassion and believes that every cancer patient has reason to hope. Hear from him why he’s passionate about leading The Final Assault trial in Atlanta.

Why is pancreatic cancer so difficult to treat?

Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, making it much more difficult to cure. Part of the problem is anatomy. The pancreas is hidden in the back of the abdomen where it cannot be examined.

Often by the time a patient develops symptoms, the cancer involves crucial blood vessels in the back of the abdomen.  At this point, it’s impossible for the surgeon to resect the tumor without sacrificing vital blood supply to the GI tract. Also, pancreatic cancer often spreads to other organs such as the liver before it is detected. This makes surgery futile. Even in cases where the tumor seems localized to the pancreas and can be resected, there are often microscopic deposits of cancer outside the pancreas that eventually lead to a recurrence.

Unlike breast and colon cancer, we also don’t have any effective ways for screening or early detection of pancreatic cancer.

What is the major goal of the Final Assault?

Clearly, we need to develop more effective systemic therapies to treat pancreatic cancer. These therapies need to travel the entire body and eradicate all pancreatic cancer cells. Until quite recently, pancreatic cancer was largely resistant to chemotherapy. However, through the hard work of researchers such as Dr. Daniel Von Hoff of TGEN, we are now seeing much better results with these newer regimens such as Abraxane/Gemzar, the TGen triple, Folfirinox, etc. Patients are responding better, and we are seeing more long-term survivors. But despite encouraging progress, there is still a great deal of work to do to improve survival.

Why are you excited about the Final Assault?

am most excited that this research effort will bring cutting-edge clinical research to Atlanta and the Southeast. In the past, patients had to travel to Houston, Phoenix or Milwaukee to gain access to new clinical trial research. Many patients traveled long distances, which is extremely difficult for individuals who are quite ill or do not have the financial resources required. Soon, through the support of the Destroy Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, we can bring the most current treatments available to patients in Atlanta. I expect to see more survivors.

How can patients and families learn about clinical trials?

Start by asking your doctor. Patients should look for oncologists who have access to cutting edge clinical trials. Information can be obtained from websites such as cancer.gov and cancer.org.


Help us Destroy Pancreatic Cancer

Raising $2.4M is no small task, but one our Founder John Couvillon declared very doable! We carry his same determination and know that every bit of support makes this possible.

Please consider donating today.

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