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Henry Ford Health System receives $20 million gift to launch pancreatic cancer center

Posted: 12:55 PM, Apr 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-09 18:06:13Z

An anonymous donor gifted the Henry Ford Health System with a $20 million donation to launch the Henry Ford Pancreatic Cancer Center, which will focus on the early detection of pancreatic cancer. 

Through partnerships established between Henry Ford and leading national and international organizations, new methods of detection for pancreatic research will be developed to address the disease, which has only an eight percent survival rate after five years, according to a news release. 

“We are grateful for this transformational gift that will allow Henry Ford to bring the best minds in the world together to shine an important light on pancreatic cancer," said Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. "It marks a crucial step in advancing pancreatic cancer research with the goal of increasing survivorship for patients diagnosed with this terrible disease.”

There are an estimated 53,670 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and there is currently no effective screening tool available to diagnose the disease in its early stages, according to a news release.

With the donation, the center will be able to drive research initiatives using technological advancements.

David Kwon, director of surgical oncology at Henry Ford Cancer Institute, and director of the Multidisciplinary Pancreas Clinic at Henry Ford Hospital will oversee the new center. 

“Never has there been a greater momentum in the fight against pancreatic cancer, and unfortunately, the incidence of pancreatic cancer will only continue to rise,” Kwon said. “To effectively fight pancreatic cancer, we need to work to find solutions to problems that have eluded clinicians and researchers to date, while embracing a culture of innovation and collaboration.”