Canadian Pancreatic Cancer Research Strategy
Pancreatic Cancer Canada (PCC) is working to develop a research strategy for pancreatic cancer in Canada. As researchers continue to work on improving outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients, we are well aware of the discouraging survival rate for those diagnosed. Only 8% of patients survive for 5 years or more and this statistic has not changed significantly over the last 40 years. PCC wants to bring researchers together to address this concern and develop mechanisms to make progress on patient outcomes.
Prior to embarking on this initiative, a representative of PCC conducted a series of outreach interviews with a small but influential group of leaders in cancer research and cancer control to explore the interest and appetite in collaborating to accelerate progress in pancreatic cancer research. The findings of this outreach exercise were positive and confirmed that PCC was not alone in its concerns or its aspirations to change the dismal prospects for pancreatic cancer patients and to drive the research that would enable those improvements.
PCC also discovered that there is a strong desire to collaborate to this end. The timing appears right to undertake a structured and facilitated process to create scientific consensus on priorities and future directions for pancreatic cancer research in Canada. The process will create a strategy for collaboration and a resource and tool to assist organizations like PCC in raising more donor dollars.
On October 22, Pancreatic Cancer Canada convened the inaugural session of a Steering Committee created to provide direction and oversight to the development of a pancreatic cancer research strategy for Canada. The assembled group included a cross-section of cancer researchers from different scientific disciplines, research administrators, research funders, patient advocates and clinicians.
The objectives of this meeting was to:
Subsequent meetings have been held in 2015. The high-level vision that has emerged is beyond that of a research framework. The Steering Committee articulated the need for an intellectual framework to provide direction to pancreatic cancer research but also the need for collaborative and coordinated efforts to address gaps in research capacity and fund the most promising scientific directions identified in the framework.
In addition, the group saw the value of a research network to facilitate the implementation of the strategy and this strategy represents an opportunity for Canada to take a leadership role in pancreatic cancer research.
Canadian Pancreatic Cancer Research Strategy Development Steering Committee