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The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center

Pancreatic cancer is on track to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. by 2030, and yet, the disease remains alarmingly under-studied. With the opening of The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center, we hope to change that.

Since its opening in September 2017, the Institute has been committed to achieving breakthroughs in both early detection and treatment options for pancreatic cancer under the expert direction of co-chairs Edna Cukierman, PhD, and Igor Astsaturov, MD, PhD.

National Pancreas Foundation Center

Fox Chase is already a renowned leader in pancreatic cancer, as the only Center in the Philadelphia region to have earned the designation as a National Pancreas Foundation Center. But, we know the collaboration between our researchers and physicians at the Institute will lead to even more clinical trial options for patients. 

The Institute marks a record-breaking investment in the work of our scientists with the vision of finding new ways to extend the lives of pancreatic cancer patients, and uncover the cancer earlier with the hope of one day finding a cure.

At the Institute, a multidisciplinary team of researchers and physicians will work together to develop innovative ideas to disrupt pancreatic cancer metabolism, the connective tissue stroma reaction (desmoplasia) that promotes immunosuppression and nominate new targets for drug development.

Concetta Greenberg, center, provided a generous donation to Fox Chase Cancer Center dedicated solely to pancreatic cancer research. (Left to right) Richard I. Fisher, President and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Edna Cukierman, Igor Astsaturov, and John Hoffman all thanked Greenberg at the Institute’s unveiling ceremony in 2017.Concetta Greenberg, center, provided a generous donation to Fox Chase Cancer Center dedicated solely to pancreatic cancer research. (Left to right) Richard I. Fisher, President and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Edna Cukierman, Igor Astsaturov, and John Hoffman all thanked Greenberg at the Institute’s unveiling ceremony in 2017.

Clinical Expertise

At Fox Chase, we draw upon the nationally recognized expertise of our multidisciplinary medical teams, as well as basic and translational research, all working toward the same goal of improving pancreatic cancer treatment. The clinical team is leading efforts to understand how pancreatic tumors continue to get essential nutrients once they lose their blood supply. Pancreatic cancer remains able to cut off the patient’s anti-tumor immune system and is still able to grow. We want to understand this puzzle, to turn the immune system back on and stop the specialized growth.

Our clinical pancreatic cancer program offers a team of nationally renowned medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, who work together to provide a full spectrum of care for pancreatic cancer—from detection through survivorship. This program also offers genetic testing of pancreatic cancer patients and their families and cancer risk assessment spearheaded by Michael J. Hall, MD, MSinnovative surgical procedures, such as the Whipple procedure and neoadjuvent therapies, and access to clinical trials for emerging and innovative therapies for pancreatic cancer

Research Expertise

The Institute was established in 2017 with the goal of rewriting the future of pancreatic cancer research by supporting activities on every front in the fight against the disease and to accelerate the progress and development of new cures and treatment options.

Under the direction of research leader, Edna Cukierman, PhD, the Institute’s vision is to establish a world class research and clinical program to investigate the fundamental problems of pancreatic cancer biology, which could lead to the discovery of breakthrough therapies.

Several laboratories already funded by National Cancer Institute research grants are working together to develop ideas for additional collaborative awards. The team is addressing pancreatic cancer metabolism and reciprocal signaling between the cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts that alter the active stromal (desmoplastic) immunosuppressive milieu. The goal is to harness the body’s natural immune protection machinery and identify new targets for future drug developments.

In this way, the team plans to continue contributing to our history of success, and to propel Fox Chase to the forefront of pancreatic cancer research nationwide. Our goal is to make a significant and meaningful difference for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones.

Concetta Greenberg is a visionary philanthropist who established The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute.Concetta Greenberg is a visionary philanthropist who established The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute.Philanthropy

Fox Chase Cancer Center is honored to partner with visionary philanthropist Concetta Greenberg to establish The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute. Mrs. Greenberg established the Institute in honor of her late husband who died of pancreatic cancer, with the vision of eradicating the disease. Mrs. Greenberg has a longstanding relationship with Fox Chase pancreatic cancer research projects.

On this path, the Institute established:

  • A unified pancreatic cancer clinical and research database, encompassing comprehensive clinical, genetic, and treatment data linked to a large collection of pancreatic cancer biological samples and patient derived xenografts.
  • Creation of informatics infrastructure to establish comprehensive protocols for clinical data collection, a Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Pathway to streamline the process of evaluation, multidisciplinary treatment assessments, and clinical trials access to patients
  • The establishment of procedures for rapid tissue procurement and blood collection for genetic and biological testing, with immediate attention to the needs of pancreatic cancer patients
  • Ongoing efforts to identify families at risk and establish a program in early detection that will be accompanied by basic science initiatives
  • Expanded clinical trials and novel basic research initiatives that will assure current and future supply of clinical effort

How to Support The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center
 

We’re excited at this new opportunity to advance the field of pancreatic cancer research, but there’s still so much work to be done.

If you’d like to donate to support this Institute and our research efforts, you can contribute at donate.foxchase.org/PancreaticInstitute. Or visit the Institutional Advancement Department at FoxChase.org/Giving or call 215-728-2745.

 

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