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Pancreas Cancer Panel to Share Advances in Research

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A scanning electron microscope picture of a cancer cell. Uncredited photo from Wikimedia Commons

A scanning electron microscope picture of a cancer cell. Uncredited photo from Wikimedia Commons

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Nationally recognized pancreas cancer experts are slated to appear as part of a panel discussion at The Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St., Birmingham, on June 10 from 7 to 9 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 is comprised of David Kwon, M.D., Henry Ford Health System, Detroit; Matthew H. Katz, M.D., Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Mark J. Truty, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Philip Philip, M.D., Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit; and Michael A.Tainsky, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit.

Moderator 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,” Kwon said. “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.”

According to panelist 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 noted.

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 U.S. 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,” said Sky Foundation founder Sheila Sky Kasselman. “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 June 10 panel discussion is free, but reservations are required by calling (248) 978-9845 or online at http://www.Skyfoundationinc.org. Valet parking is available.

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