People who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are waiting for information about their treatment options, according to a 2013 survey.1 Such findings underscore the importance of raising awareness of this deadly disease during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Seventy percent of patients and caregivers surveyed said doctors did not provide treatment options when they were initially diagnosed, and 14 percent said they were never given the information.2 And although current treatment guidelines for pancreatic cancer recommend participation in clinical trials, half of patients surveyed reported their doctors never discussed the option with them.3
Education plays an essential role in empowering patients and families. The pancreatic cancer community must continue investing in resources that help patients better cope with their anxieties and improve their overall experience. When patients understand their disease and the options available, they are more likely to stick with their treatment.4
“At Celgene, we understand the personal tragedy and the toll pancreatic cancer takes on families and loved ones,” Mark Alles, chief executive officer of Celgene, said. “The 7,000 employees at Celgene are working every day on behalf of thousands of people suffering with this terrible disease.”
Celgene understands that patients are waiting for better treatment options and looking for information that will help them and their doctors guide their treatment choices. Celgene employees are focused on bringing new therapies and educating the pancreatic cancer community about the latest advances in the treatment of this deadly disease.
Many Celgene employees have experienced the devastation and feeling of helplessness caused by a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, through family members and friends. James Lajeunesse, hematology oncology consultant at Celgene, lost his father to pancreatic cancer. Because of his personal experience with his father’s pancreatic cancer journey, Lajeunesse said that he is “inspired to help healthcare providers understand the different treatment options.”
We’re making progress, and we will stay committed until we can find a cure because, after all, we know that patients are waiting.
Celgene has been at the forefront in the fight against pancreatic cancer and is dedicated to supporting patients and those who care for them. In partnership with 29 international patient groups, we launched the first-ever World Pancreatic Cancer Day in 2014. We were the first national sponsor for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s PurpleStride events, which help to raise disease awareness as well as funds that support patients and advance research.5 Other initiatives we have supported over the years include the European Multi-Stakeholder platform on Pancreatic Cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Forum in Milan and the “CancerCare Get You There” transportation assistance program.
Beyond supporting those patient group events and programs, Celgene has developed a personal information center for pancreatic cancer patients and caregivers at NavigatePanc.com. The site allows patients and caregivers to create their own personalized online libraries with information about the disease, clinical trials and support groups.
Above all else, however, pancreatic cancer patients are waiting for new treatment options. While researchers have made much progress, pancreatic cancer remains deadly, with less than 8 percent of patients living five years after being diagnosed.6
Working with the pancreatic cancer community, Celgene is committed to improving the lives of those with pancreatic cancer by leveraging the latest science. Today, Celgene is conducting three global clinical trials for patients with various stages of pancreatic cancer and supporting more than 50 researcher-led studies in early stage and locally advanced disease.
“We’re making progress, and we will stay committed until we can find a cure because, after all, we know that patients are waiting,” Alles said.
To learn more about our commitment to the pancreatic cancer community, watch our “Patients are Waiting” video now.
1 Engebretson Anitra, Matrisian Lynn, Thompson Cara. Patient and caregiver awareness of pancreatic cancer treatments and clinical trials. Journal of gastrointestinal oncology. 2016;7:228-233. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783733/ Accessed October 21, 2016.
2 Engebretson Anitra, Matrisian Lynn, Thompson Cara. Patient and caregiver awareness of pancreatic cancer treatments and clinical trials. Journal of gastrointestinal oncology. 2016;7:228-233. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783733/ Accessed October 21, 2016.
3 Engebretson Anitra, Matrisian Lynn, Thompson Cara. Patient and caregiver awareness of pancreatic cancer treatments and clinical trials. Journal of gastrointestinal oncology. 2016;7:228-233. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783733/ Accessed October 21, 2016.
4 Adams, Robert John. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2010; 3: 61–72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270921/ Accessed October 21, 2016.
5 Celgene is the first national sponsor for the PurpleStripe program. 2015. https://www.pancan.org/about-us/pancreas-matters-enewsletters/celgene-first-national-sponsor-purplestride-program/ Accessed October 21, 2016.
6 SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Pancreas Cancer. National Cancer Institute. 2016. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/pancreas.html Accessed October 21, 2016.