Moffitt Cancer Center Seeks Participants For Pancreatic Cancer Screening Study

November 05, 2009

Tampa, FL— Dr. Jason B. Klapman is searching for people who are at high risk for the development of pancreatic cancer to participate in a research study at Moffitt Cancer Center.

The study will examine participants for early signs of pancreatic cancer. The goal is to identify the disease at an early stage to help prevent precancerous or cancerous growth.

Klapman is the head researcher in the study. One of his goals is to prevent pancreatic cancer by developing a noninvasive screening blood test that could help identify the disease early. “Because pancreatic cancer is so lethal, research should focus on early detection and prevention, which may ultimately improve survival of this deadly disease,” Klapman said.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Only an estimated 25 percent of diagnosed patients will survive the first year of treatment. The disease is highly fatal because of the lack of reliable screening tests.

Bill Jacobs is a 67-year-old participant who has been involved in Klapman’s study for the past three years. Jacobs lost his father, Richard, in 2007 and younger sister, Nora, to the disease in 2008. “Given the severity of the disease and its grave circumstances, it is great relief to be under the consistent supervision of an exemplary team of experts,” Jacobs said. “Each visit and procedure has been very efficiently performed.”

Jacobs and his sister, Christine, decided to join the study together to help in the quest to find a cure. “The study is a great direct benefit to the participant and, hopefully, to other persons and families who face this disease,” Jacobs said.

Klapman is searching for 100 participants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You have two first-degree relatives with pancreatic or breast cancer.
  • You have three family members with pancreatic cancer, and at least one is a         first-degree relative.
  • You have Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome and are older than 30.
  • You have hereditary pancreatitis.
  • You have familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome.
  • You have inherited the BRCA2 gene and have a family history of pancreatic cancer.
  • You haven’t been screened for pancreatic cancer with a CT or an endoscopic ultrasound scan in the past three years.

Interested participants will have a clinical consultation to determine eligibility. Accepted participants will provide a sample of blood and urine specimens along with clinical data.

Participants will be asked to consent to an endoscopic ultrasound screening exam with the possibility of fine needle aspiration to biopsy potentially abnormal areas. If screenings are abnormal, participants may be asked to undergo surgical and radiographic evaluation.

For more information on enrollment, call Tiffany Campos at (813) 745-8358 or e-mail Tiffany.Campos@moffitt.org.

For more information on pancreatic cancer, visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center — a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

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