Required Reading List
My Required Reading List is a list of sources that you can
explore deeper to gain some insight on the symptoms of
pancreatic cancer, the research treatments out there, ways you
can help, and stories about people fighting the disease. By
reading over this list and exploring some of the sources, you can
find the answers to questions you may have about the disease
and hopefully learn something new.
1. Brune, Kieran, Bryan Lau, Emily Palmisano, Marcia Canto, and Michael Goggins.
"Importance of Age of Onset in Pancreatic Cancer Kindreds." Journal of National Cancer
Institute 102.2 (2010): 119-126. Web. 2 Feb 2011
The authors of this article conducted research in order to find out if individuals with a family
history of pancreatic cancer are at an increased risk for developing it. It discusses young-onset
cancer among familial pancreatic cancer (FPC) kindred members. They performed competing
risk survival analyses to examine the risk of pancreatic cancer and risk of death from other
causes according to youngest age of onset of pancreatic cancer in the family and the number of
affected relatives. Researchers found that individuals with a family history of pancreatic cancer
are at a significantly higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Having a member of the
family with a young-onset (>50) pancreatic cancer presents an added risk in FPC kindreds.
2. Varmus, Harold. "National Cancer Institute." U.S. National Institutes of Health. National
Institutes of Health, 2010. Web. 2 Feb 2011.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) website is a great tool. It has everything one would need to
know about pancreatic cancer treatment, dictionary of cancer terms, NCI drug dictionary, clinical
trials, preventions, genetics, causes, screening and testing, cancer literature, research, and
statistics. This website can be helpful to people dealing with pancreatic cancer because it
breaks down scientific terms so that anyone can understand the information. The dictionary of
cancer terms is especially helpful at doing this. The accuracy of these things should be quite
good because it is a government website and also because it is so closely linked to the scientific
community. This site will help me not only in my writing of different projects throughout the
semester, but also with terms and statistics that I may not have been aware of before. There is
also a booklet linked from their site that can be read online to learn about pancreatic cancer
symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, as well as questions to ask the doctor if you are facing the
3. Roth, Mark. "New Vaccine May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer." Post Gazette 27 Jul 2009.
Web. 2 Feb 2011
Roth’s article came in two parts. This is the second, and the part that I found the most important
for research. The article talks about a treatment that was new in 2009, as well as a man named
Rev. Clifford Stollings, from Uniontown, PA. Stollings is a SIX year pancreatic cancer
survivor. He received the vaccine aimed at a protein that pancreatic tumors overproduce. The
article also discusses the National Cancer Institute’s raised distribution for pancreatic cancer by
$14 million in 2009, Stand Up To Cancer’s largest single grant being given to pancreatic cancer
research, and Dr. Randy Pausch and his last lecture. This article combines research and stories
in a way that is both informative and inspirational.
4. "Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and 225 Advocates Urge Congress to Support a New Plan
for Federal Funding of Pancreatic Cancer Research." Biotech Business Week 24 Mar 2008. 2938.
Lexis Nexis Academic. Web. 2 Feb 2011.
This article discusses the 2nd Annual Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.
Patients, survivors and caregivers from across the United States came together to urge Congress
to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s national plan to advance pancreatic cancer
research. The organization seeks $170 million in federal funding for research and outlines a
strategic plan to identify early detection methods in hope of finding a cure. Pancreatic cancer is
currently one of the least funded among leading cancer killers with less than 2% of the NCI’s
annual budget allocated to pancreatic cancer research. The chairman of the Pancreatic Cancer
Action Network talks in the article about the promise held in pancreatic cancer, but that without
funding, the ideas cannot be pursued.
5. Klein, Dr. Alison. "National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry." Sol Goldman Pancreatic
Cancer Research Center. Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2011. Web. 16 Feb 2011.
The National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry (NFPTR) is a research study aimed at
identifying the causes of pancreatic cancer. Families who have been affected be the disease are
able to join this organization and send in a questionnaire with their family cancer history. For
example, if the cancer affected your mother, the questionnaire asks about your mother’s health
history, as well as her parents, siblings, and parent’s sibling’s health history. By doing so, the
NFPTR can use this unique opportunity to study the cause of pancreatic cancer. Their research
may ultimately help devise ways to find pancreatic tumors earlier and develop better treatments.
6. "Lustgarten Foundation." Pancreatic Cancer Research. N.p., 2011. Web. 16 Feb 2011.
The Lustgarten Foundation aims to get people informed and get them involved in the push for
pancreatic cancer research. On their website, you can find a section that tells you about the
disease, about the organization and about research news. You can also find a section that
discusses research walks, special events, and community activities that let you know how you
can get involved. This site can be very helpful to those looking to both learn more about the
disease as well as having an interest in getting involved in their events.
7. curePC. CSC Holdings Inc., 2011. Web. 16 Feb 2011. <http://curepc.org/>.
CurePC is a public awareness campaign in support of the Lustgarten Foundation. Cablevision
supports this campaign and sends 100% of donations made to the foundation directly to
research. Those affected by pancreatic cancer tell their story through the PSAs and ask for your
help in fighting against this disease. Watching these PSAs can help to solidify the sense of
urgency for this. This site is also useful because the 100% is something that catches my attention
and I’m sure catches others attention too. Knowing your entire donation goes directly to
research is a way to solidify support.
8. Dugdale III, David. "Pancreatic Carcinoma." PubMed Health. U.S. National Library of
Medicine, 2011. Web. 16 Feb 2011.
This website is composed by the National Library of Medicine. You can find figures showing
the digestive system, pancreatic cancer CT scan, as well as other descriptive images. This site
can be useful because it also talks about signs of the disease, tests, treatments, expectations for
future treatments, as well as having descriptive images pinpointing the affected areas of a bilary
obstruction. A bilary obstruction occurs when the duct which transports bile from the liver to the
duodenum is blocked by a tumor, stone, or inflammation of the ducts. This website has a lot of
scientific terms on it, but it also tries to explain things in laymen’s terms so that anyone can
understand it. When reading things on this website, if there are terms that you don’t understand,
you can go back to the National Cancer Institute website, which has a dictionary of cancer terms
to help you with those scientific words that can be so confusing.
9. Titlebaum, Joseph. "National Pancreas Foundation." National Pancreas Foundation, 2011.
Web. 30 Mar 2011. <http://pancreasfoundation.org/>.
The National Pancreas Foundation covers not only pancreatic cancer, but also pancreatitis and
kid’s pancreatic diseases. I still chose to include it because of it variety of relevant information
towards my topic. The website talks about what the pancreas does, about genetics and the DNA
abnormalities being looked into as a cause of pancreatic cancer, and about risks and symptoms
while exploring deeper into stages and causes. The website also talks about medical therapies
and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, laughter, meditation, and massage. These
alternative therapies are something I haven’t read about before in regards to pancreatic cancer, so
they were definitely an interesting addition. There are also articles that you can read about
events, new treatments being worked on, and awards and honors that doctors are receiving.
There is also a link to support groups for both patients and caregivers and a link to find doctors
enrolled in the organization near you. The links are nice because if you or a loved one is dealing
with the disease, you can find a doctor in your state to talk to or go to for a medical opinion.
10. "Treating Pancreatic Cancer by Stage." American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society,
2011. Web. 30 Mar 2011.
The American Cancer Society website is devoted to the treatment at different stages of
pancreatic cancer. This website is important because it tells you the options for treatment. It
talks about exocrine pancreatic cancer that is resectable (able to be removed by surgery), locally
advanced (demonstrates growth in immediate surroundings and possibly lymphnodes), as well as
metastic (widespread). It also talks about pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer and the surgeries
available for this type depending on how advanced the cancer is and what the options are for it. I
like the approach this website takes because it’s really informative about the reasons that surgery
can be so difficult. The reasons for this include the difficulty diagnosing pancreatic cancer and
how advanced the cancer is when they find it. Surgery can also be difficult because of the size of
the tumor and the area they are dealing with. The pancreas and bile duct are both very important
to the body. The website is quite educational, but it is also written in a way that I can understand
with no science background. Of course there are a few words that I need to Google, but that is
typical when reading a scientific article.
11. Fox, Maggie. "Genes Map Study Finds Clues to Pancreatic Cancer." Medline Plus 20 JAN
2011: n. pag. Web. 30 Mar 2011.
This article talks about new genes that have been identified that cause a relatively less harmful
type of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor when mutated a certain way. Although neuroendocrine
tumors account for only 5 percent of pancreatic cancer cases, it is still important to be educated
on this type as well. This article discusses Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, who has this rare type
of pancreatic cancer and has been receiving treatment for his less severe type since 2004. The
article talks about the patients with tumors with mutations in genes MEN-1, DAXX and ATRX
that have lived at least ten years after learning about their tumors. This has taught researchers
that it may be more useful to classify cancer by genes than by organ or cell type.
12. Randall, Tom. "Pfizer Drug Slows Pancreatic Tumors in New Attack on Cancer." Bloomberg
Businessweek 24 MAR 2011: n. pag. Web. 30 Mar 2011.
This news article was an interesting one to me because it is a level of progress in the field of
pancreatic cancer, even though it is only a small level of progress. The Pfizer Drug was shown
to slow deadly pancreatic cancer in a study that revealed a new treatment approach that tricks the
immune system to attack tissue protecting tumors. The article is very informative and goes on to
explain the way the drug is paired with chemotherapy and the progression of the disease when
the medicine was given. Although the company still needs larger successful tests before they
attempt to get the drug approved, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s important to hear stories
like this and see that small bits of progress are being made.
13. Auer, Holly. "Penn Researchers Uncover Novel Immune Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer."
Penn Medicine (2011): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2011.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are training the immune system to act against
cancer cells in the body. They are learning a lot about the way the immune system works against
cancer cells that they never before realized. By finding out more information about the white
blood cells and how they are fighting against the cancer, researchers can figure out what changes
to make to treatments in order to intensify the white blood cells’ ability to fight off the disease.
This article went into a lot of detail about the white blood cells and tried to explain all the
scientific terms the best they could. It was a very informational article with analogies to make
the transition from scientific terms to laymen’s terms easier.
14. Freeman, Liz. "With boost from Southwest Florida, possible cancer treatment advances."
NaplesNews. N.p., 18 APR 2011. Web. 18 Apr 2011.
John Kanzius contributed greatly as a scientist before losing his battle to pancreatic cancer. His
non-invasive radiofrequency cancer treatment is being tested in animals. This could be a huge
step for pancreatic cancer and this article is very informational about the benefits of the
treatment, as well as the next steps to be taken by the Kanzius Foundation. Although results of
these animal tests were not given, they seem to be moving in the right direction. Evidence of this
is shown with the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation is looking to build a larger
radiofrequency unit and apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to start
research with humans. Pancreatic and liver cancers will be the initial focus because of the lack
of treatment available for these types.
15. "Pancreatic cancer jab to help patients recover?." Barchester (2011): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr
This article talks about a vaccine being developed in the United Kingdom to train the immune
system to attack cancer cells. This is currently being trialed on patients in UK hospitals. It is
being coordinated by Royal Liverpool University Hospital. This trial could make a real
difference in the way clinicians behave and patients are treated because of the new discovery of
building the immune system up to fight back against the cancer. Although this is a short article,
it is still important to the development of pancreatic cancer treatments. Every little bit is a step
in the right direction for a cure.
16. Mahoney, Diane. "Early Results Promising for Robotic Pancreatic Resection ." Internal
Medicine News (2011): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2011.
This article discusses a new kind of approach to pancreatic cancer surgery, namely robotic
pancreatic resection. Because surgery is such a rare possibility for pancreatic cancer patients,
this study is very important. By using robotic assisted technology, robotic hepatobiliary-
pancreatic (HPB) surgery is a reasonable and feasible approach for the management of
pancreatic cancer. Surgery is difficult because of the area of the body in which the pancreas
resides. Every motion done is very particular and careful. Using a machine with such precise
movements could be the answer doctors have been looking for. Researchers hope to lessen the
fear of surgery and also to heighten the possibility of surgery by making complex, involved
procedures more possible using their robotic technology.