North Dakota State was awarded more than $2 million to establish a Center for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies in Pancreatic Cancer on Feb. 17.
“Almost all of us know someone who has battled or is battling cancer,” Sen. John Hoeven said in a press release. “It is important that we invest in programs and research that will help us beat this disease, and funding like this will support researchers at NDSU who are working hard to help us better understand how we can do just that.”
The exact amount was a $2,061,095 exploratory grant. The award is the first of an expected five-year project.
“Research funding helps North Dakota students and researchers lead the way in tackling tough medical challenges like cancer,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said in a brief. “This significant federal funding will allow NDSU pharmaceutical sciences researchers to advance cutting-edge science, which will help the medical community improve diagnosis and therapies for pancreatic cancer down the road. Funding this kind of research is a vital investment – in both our universities, and in the future of medicine.”
Pancreatic cancer’s survival rate is 20 percent for the first year, and 6 percent for five years, according to the American Cancer Society.
The average survival rate is around 18 to 20 months. The reason that pancreatic cancer is so deadly is because usually the tumor spreads. This makes surgical removal nearly impossible.
“I think it is a good idea. I think any research that they can do will be helpful,” said senior Angela Norwig.
As of 2015, about 48,960 people (24,840 men and 24,120 women) were estimated to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with an estimated 40,560 people dying from the cancer in 2015.