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The Lustgarten Foundation Awards Six Research Centers With Pancreatic Cancer Research Funding

Foundation Expects to Double 2009 Grant Awards to Nearly $4 Million

BETHPAGE, N.Y., June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lustgarten Foundation, the nation's largest private supporter of pancreatic cancer research, today announced its first round of 2009 grants, totaling $1.6 million awarded to six leading research centers for early diagnostic tests and better treatment for one of the nation's deadliest cancers.

Lustgarten is expected to award nearly $4 million this year, double last year's amount, to scientists engaged in groundbreaking fundamental research. The increase is largely due to Cablevision Systems Corporation's support, which made a multi-year commitment to underwrite all of Lustgarten's administrative costs so that 100 percent of every donation goes directly to scientific research.

"Many of these grant recipients will build on the landmark work of The Genome Project, which decoded pancreatic cancer's complete genetic blueprint, while others are conducting research essential to our growing understanding of pancreatic cancer. If successful, this research will move us another step closer toward the goal of making pancreatic cancer detection as easy as a routine blood test, and provide the framework for developing life-saving treatments," said Kerri Kaplan, executive director of The Lustgarten Foundation.

Of note, the new three-year grant for $825,000 awarded to Dr. Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University allows scientists to identify potential DNA biomarkers present in pancreatic cancer patients. If successful, it would represent a major step forward in combating a disease where early treatment is the best hope for survival.

The first 2009 Lustgarten Foundation grants went to Nita Ahuja, Johns Hopkins University; Allan Balmain, University of California, San Francisco; Sunil R. Hingorani, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Alison Klein, Johns Hopkins University; Chandan Kumar, University of Michigan Medical School; Joshua Mendell, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Thomas D. Schmittgen, Ohio State University; Jeffrey Settleman, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Bert Vogelstein, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

About The Lustgarten Foundation

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. More than 34,000 people die from it each year. Of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, five percent survive five years and most with advanced cancer die within a year.

The Lustgarten Foundation is America's largest private foundation working solely on pancreatic cancer research. The Foundation has provided $22 million to more than 110 research projects. To learn more, visit

SOURCE The Lustgarten Foundation
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