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PanCAN gives UC Cancer Institute $300,000 grant for research

PanCan gives UC Cancer Institute $300,000 grant for research (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There is new hope in the fight against cancer.

A team of local researchers are now among the first in the nation to explore a treatment option for pancreatic cancer that the world has never had before.

Only recently has there been a shift in survival rates for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On Wednesday night, there’s a reason why everyone may soon see a whole lot more.

A team at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute just got its first huge grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or PanCAN.

Volunteers who have helped raise money for it have worked tirelessly for this moment to change the future of this disease.

Maurice Bason has had a lot of ups and downs since he was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“They told me a year after my surgery that there was an aggressive recurrence, and gave me a short time to live,” said Maurice.

He's now survived this cancer over 10 years, which is something Dr. Syed Ahmad says is unusual with pancreas cancer because, when it comes to research: “We don't have that first domino in pancreas cancer.”

But now, all that could change.

There is new research on the horizon showing promising results and in this cancer specifically, it could make a big difference in beating and treating this disease.

It's all due to a first of its kind study about to be launched by Dr. Ahmad and another research scientist named Dr. Vladimir Bogdanav.

It’s all possible thanks to volunteers such as Maurice Bason, who raised money for an organization called PanCAN.

“PanCAN stands for Pancreas Cancer Action Network, and it is probably one of the more important organizations on a national level in terms of raising awareness and research dollars, for pancreas cancer,” said Dr. Ahmad. “PanCAN has just awarded funding for an investigational trial of a compound called ASTF.”

“ASTF” stands for “Alternatively Spliced Tissue Factors.”

Tissue factor in the blood helps with clotting if you cut yourself tissue factor is released to make sure the blood clots.

“Alternatively, spliced tissue factor is a variant of tissue factor, and it's made by cancer cells and we found that cancer cells utilize this to grow and spread,” said Dr. Ahmad.

Dr. Ahmad's team has figured out a way to block this tissue facture and when they do: “We can prevent pancreas cancer from growing and we can prevent cancer from spreading,” said Dr. Ahmad.

The hope is that not only will more survive this cancer, they will have the chance to share what Maurice Bason says he shares every day:

“There's a gift that you get when you have a near death experience through cancer which is to figure out what is really precious about life, which is about loving people and being loved, so I squeeze every drop of joy out of every moment,” said Maurice.

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