PanKind, The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, is exclusively dedicated to pancreatic cancer with a mission to triple the survival rate by 2030 and dramatically increase the quality of life for patients and their families. We aim to achieve this through a strategic focus on raising awareness, collaboration to increase progress and investing in ground-breaking medical research. Since inception in 2008, we have invested over $11 million into pancreatic research at Australia’s top institutions and in 2021 alone we committed a total of $13.1 million of research funding. Our International Scientific Advisory Panel is comprised of international and local scientific and medical experts who are responsible for assessing our research investments.
When and why was your organization founded?
In 2008, Avner Nahmani and his wife Caroline established Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research in the hope that future patients and their families would face better outcomes. In 2020, our name changed to PanKind, The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, but the vision to create a world free from pancreatic cancer remains at the heart of our organisation.
What are your organization’s main area of focus?
Research – We invest in ground-breaking research with a national collaborative approach and identify and invest in high-impact, strategic research projects as well as funding competitive research grants across the entire research pathway. We believe it is important to invest early in innovative pancreatic cancer research to build capacity in Australia, fast-track discovery and accelerate new treatments to patients.
National Patient and Cancer Hub – PanKind supports people impacted by pancreatic cancer by providing relevant information, valuable resources and a connection to others affected by the disease. The information we create is available to patients, their families and healthcare professionals in both print and online.
Advocacy – We advocate with and for the pancreatic cancer community for equitable, optimal and earlier access to diagnosis, treatment and care. We worked with the Australian Government and the research and patient communities to drive a plan of action resulting in the National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap. As part of our ongoing advocacy work, we are committed to fostering clinical collaboration and equitable access to treatments and care across the country through our networks of excellence.
Awareness – We work to increase awareness of pancreatic cancer at a national level, to support earlier diagnosis and raise funds towards research.
What is your organization working on that you’d like others to know about?
This year we will continue to focus on funding the most promising research projects possible in the areas of Early Detection and New Treatments, and further develop valuable resources and information for patients and carers, easily accessible in our National Patient & Carer Hub. Recently we distributed over 75,000 information flyers to general practitioners across Australia, providing their patients with information about pancreatic cancer, the signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors and directing them to our website for more information and support.
PanKind partners with clinical trials to increase awareness of and access to new treatments and supportive care studies. We are currently collaborating on the following trials:
- PROcESS Trial: The Pancreatic cancer Relatives Counselling and Education Support Service (PROcESS) Trial, in collaboration with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, which aims to determine whether having a nurse provide structured counselling and education to carers of people with pancreatic cancer helps them cope more effectively.
- ASPERT study: The survey will identify who has been offered Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy (PERT). The pancreas is important in digestion and PERT is a treatment that can help people with pancreatic cancer digest their food.
How can the WPCC support your organization and its goals?
Our mission is to triple the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2030 and dramatically improve outcomes for patients and their families. The WPCC can help us move toward this important goal by connecting us to other member organisations to learn more about best practices, share information that can accelerate positive impact and provide opportunities to collaborate and leverage international expertise. The WPCC importantly continues to amplify our global voice to raise greater awareness of pancreatic cancer, which will ultimately help to save lives.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing with WPCC over the next year?
The first virtual annual meeting of the WPCC was an incredible activity that allowed us to hear about advances in research and advocacy and to have important discussions with our peers and the issues that people with pancreatic cancer face, all over the world. We are extremely excited about this year’s meeting and continuing with the themes and priorities identified previously. We are looking forward to another big World Pancreatic Cancer Day which seems to build in momentum every year and we look forward to seeing illuminated purple landmarks dominate social media again in November.
To learn more about PanKind, visit their website.