First-Ever World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Celgene joins forces with patient organizations to lead the path for change.

For the first time ever, November 13, 2014 marks World Pancreatic Cancer Day. While the month of November has traditionally been marked in some countries as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, it is not currently recognized globally.  Worldwide, it is estimated that 337,872 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 330,372 will die from the disease each year.  Five year survival rates globally for pancreatic cancer are less than 7 percent and are among the lowest for any cancer.

The statistics are just some of the reasons why the international pancreatic cancer patient advocacy community, with the support of Celgene, created World Pancreatic Cancer Day.  More than 29 patient groups are embarking on several social media initiatives to jumpstart efforts to call attention to this deadly cancer and the need for change. Individuals will be encouraged to share, like, tweet and post information on the disease.

In support of this effort, Celgene released results from a Global Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Omnibus Survey of more than 7,000 adults in the United States and five countries in Europe.  The survey was conducted by Ipsos in early 2014 and was designed to assess the level of awareness and knowledge about pancreatic cancer, the degree of interest in learning more about this deadly cancer, and the level of support for expanded research efforts.

The results of the Omnibus survey show extremely low awareness of pancreatic cancer, despite the fact that it is one of the leading causes of cancer death around the world.  In fact, 60 percent of respondents said they know almost nothing about pancreatic cancer. The good news is that when all respondents were made aware of the poor survival associated with pancreatic cancer more than 70 percent indicated they would be extremely or very supportive of a public awareness campaign supporting more public education about pancreatic cancer. In addition, about half of all respondents indicated they would take action to support public awareness.

In an effort to spur change in Europe, four Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)—Philippe Juvin, Philippe De Backer, Françoise Grossetête and Daciana Sârbu—have called on the European Commission and European Union Member States to help reverse the alarming death trends of pancreatic cancer. These efforts and the call-to-action have been described in an EU Parliament Magazine supplement on Pancreatic Cancer which is now publicly available.

These awareness raising efforts are just one step in addressing the gaps and unmet needs for pancreatic cancer. Celgene is committed to transforming outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer by pursuing the science to discover, develop and commercialize additional therapies that evolve this cancer into a treatable disease. Today, there are more than 170 global clinical trials evaluating investigational treatments in approximately 35,000 patients—of these Celgene is conducting and sponsoring more than 30 trials.

Get involved and show your support for Pancreatic Cancer! Visit www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org to find out how you can spread the word. Be sure to check out social media posts from @Celgene and share with your followers.