Pancreas Cancer Panel to Share Advances in Research


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Nationally recognized pancreas cancer experts are slated to appear as part of a panel discussion at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham on June 10 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Among the topics panel members will discuss is research regarding emerging diagnostic tools. Sky Foundation Inc. is sponsoring the panel discussion. The non-profit foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research for early detection of new and recurrent tumors of the pancreas.

The panel includes:

David Kwon, M.D., Henry Ford Health System, Detroit; Matthew H. Katz, M.D., F.A.C.S., Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Mark J. Truty, M.D., MSc., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Philip Philip, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P., Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit; and Michael A. Tainsky, Ph.D., Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit.

Moderator David Kwon describes the panel members as “game changers” in the field of pancreas cancer. “Pancreas cancer is a devastating disease with a low survival rate. We intend to educate the community as to the complexity of the disease, hear leaders who are driving the research in the field of pancreas cancer and, more importantly, gain a better understanding of how to best treat pancreas cancer,” Kwon said.

According to panelist Michael Tainsky, ongoing research is focused on developing a blood test that acts as a screening marker. Screening markers are intended to detect pancreas cancer while it is still curable, or in certain instances discovering and treating reoccurrences earlier. “Individuals at high risk for pancreas cancer would clearly benefit from a screening test, and therefore, represent the communities that would most benefit from this project,” Tainsky said. Kwon shares Tainsky’s vision. “Our hope is that pancreas cancer screening will become as routine as colonoscopies and mammograms.”

More than 40,000 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with pancreas cancer during 2013. While it is the ninth most occurring cancer in the nation, pancreas cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. “Sky Foundation and its medical partners are working to lower that number,” Sky Foundation founder Sheila Sky Kasselman, said. “The incredible research conducted by our panel and others in the pancreas cancer community is our link to a future where pancreas cancer is more easily detectable.”

Admission to the panel discussion on June 10 is free, but reservations are required by calling (248) 978-9845 or online at Valet parking is available.