Game Changer Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

Iowans now have what’s billed as a “game-changing” new tool in trying to beat a cancer killer that’s known for being stealthy and fast-moving. Melinda Thach, a volunteer with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, says the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only about eight-percent, and there’s no test or early detection method.

Precision Promise is the first large-scale medical trial of its kind and it aims to “revolutionize” treatment for pancreatic cancer patients. One goal is to double survival rates by 2020

The two closest participating medical centers to Iowa are in St. Louis and Chicago. The partnership aims to create a culture of cooperation and learning among clinicians, researchers and drug developers. Thach, who lives in Ames, got involved as a volunteer after losing her mother to pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms can include: upset stomach, back pain, yellowing skin, weight loss, apetite loss, and a feeling of being full after only eating a little food. An estimated 580 Iowans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and 430 Iowans will die from it.

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