Destroy Pancreatic Cancer, a nonprofit organization with the goal of funding clinical trials and advancing research that leads to earlier detection and improved treatment options for pancreatic cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., today announced its official launch.
Howard Young, a 15-year pancreatic cancer survivor, will lead the foundation. Clinical trials will be led by Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P., physician in chief and director of translational research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix and the world’s foremost pancreatic cancer researcher; Douglas Evans, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery at The Medical College of Wisconsin and one of the nation’s top surgical oncologists; and W. Perry Ballard, III, M.D., co-founder of Atlanta’s Piedmont Cancer Institute, an MD Anderson Cancer Network certified member.
Destroy Pancreatic Cancer was founded by John Couvillon, a pancreatic cancer sufferer who recently died while undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence. Young and others involved in the start-up vowed to continue what Couvillon started.
“After first being diagnosed and undergoing surgery in 2014, John Couvillon told his surgeon, Douglas Evans, ‘I want to help,’” said Young. “Today, we’re proud to see John’s initial vision through. We have assembled three of the preeminent pancreatic cancer physicians in the world and several pancreatic cancer survivors to help lead a foundation whose purpose is to put money in the best possible hands to destroy pancreatic cancer.”
In addition to funding clinical trials, Destroy Pancreatic Cancer (DPC) is committed to providing a landing spot for sufferers and survivors. The foundation’s motto, Hope and a Plan, is counter to the stigma surrounding pancreatic cancer – one that offers little promise of a cure.
“It’s going to take unified research and a collaborative effort funded by passionate people who want to find a cure,” said Young. “It’s a devastating disease and many people and families that have been affected don’t ever want to hear about it again. But the few survivors we have need to step up, lead the charge and mobilize those affected to help fund key researchers.”
Destroy Pancreatic Cancer is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in Atlanta and will be funded by donations. Destroy Pancreatic Cancer is governed by a volunteer board of directors.
“DPC’s ancillary goal is to shift the current mindset,” said Mike Broxterman, a DPC board member and longtime friend of Couvillon’s. “While the statistics don’t lie, we want to give encouragement to those who have been diagnosed and are affected by this disease. There’s a lot of reason for faith – there are new therapies and clinical trials that offer a great deal of hope.”