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Henry Ford Multi-Institutional Pancreatic Cancer Consortium

Advancing pancreatic cancer research for early detection, new therapies and a cure

There have been incredible recent advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, in many cases, offering a cure for certain cancers – yet overall survival for pancreatic cancer has only grown from 2% to roughly 8% in the past 50 years.

Never has there been a greater opportunity to offer more patients hope in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

The Henry Ford Pancreatic Cancer Center aims to do just that by leading a global, multi-institutional research consortium. Funded by an initial $20 million gift from an anonymous individual donor, the consortium will lead research initiatives to develop new tools for early detection and find a cure for pancreatic cancer.


Our vision: Bringing together the best minds in the world


The multi-institutional Pancreatic Cancer Consortium will serve as an advisory board for national and international partnerships with a focus on:

  • Early detection
  • Data analytics
  • Clinical trials
  • Translational research
  • Precision medicine

The consortium will be led by David Kwon, M.D., head of the multidisciplinary pancreas group and surgical oncology at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute. As part of the consortium, Henry Ford will leverage its clinical and organizational resources, including:

  • Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s Precision Medicine Program, the first and most comprehensive in Michigan to offer genomic testing and expertise of a molecular tumor board to all cancer patients
  • Henry Ford Health System’s participation in All of Us, a National Institutes of Health Precision Medicine research program.
  • Henry Ford Innovation Institute, which has cultivated an extensive global network, including relationships with healthcare leaders, entrepreneurs and investors in Saudi Arabia, India, and, Israel.


Our Vision

Bring together the best minds in the world to detect pancreatic cancer earlier and help patients live longer.

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Steps to discover, develop and lead the cure to pancreatic cancer

The multi-institutional Pancreatic Cancer Consortium will improve early detection, treatment and survival rates for pancreatic cancer by:

  • Early Detection

    Expanding identified biomarkers for pancreatic cancer

    • Issue: There is only one FDA-approved biomarker for pancreatic cancer; it may only provide insight into extend of disease severity for some patients, not all.
    • What needs to be done: Expand genome sequencing to include all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

    Developing screening tests using biomarkers to identify pancreatic cancer early

    • Issue: There are no tests for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
    • What needs to be done: Translate an expanded array of potential biomarkers into clinically-relevant tests for early detection of pancreatic cancer to improve pancreatic cancer outcomes.

    Discovering novel patterns in pancreatic cancer patients

    • Issue: Clinical databases, including electronical medical records (EMRs), are an untapped wealth of clinical information that may offer new insights for pancreatic cancer.
    • What needs to be done: Synthesize patient-specific data to produce observed tendencies or features specific to pancreatic cancer patients.
  • New Therapies

    Translating research into targeted patient treatment

    • Issue: Researchers have struggled to translate the tumor biology of pancreatic cancer into clinically relevant treatments to improve patient outcomes.
    • What needs to be done: Develop a patient-derived pancreatic cancer xenograft model to identify mutations and/or markers that may predict disease severity, treatment response and recurrence.

    Leading investigator-initiated clinical trials

    • Issue: The way clinical research in the U.S. is prioritized, conducted and funded has created unintended obstacles for pancreatic cancer clinical trials to move forward.
    • What needs to be done: Expedite the clinical trials process and accelerate the number of pancreatic cancer clinical trials through investigator-initiated clinical trials that are privately funded.

Precision Medicine

Precision Medicine works to find targeted treatments custom-fit for each person’s unique type of cancer. Discover the advances Henry Ford is bringing to all patients.

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All of Us Research Program

Henry Ford is among a few select health systems in the nation to participate in this program. We’re calling on one million people across America to help us advance how we prevent and treat diseases for generations to come.