Mount Sinai wins $500,000 grant to support continued innovation in pancreatic cancer treatment

The Canopy Cancer Collective, a national nonprofit organization that strives to fuel better treatments and outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients, has awarded The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai a $500,000 grant to support continued innovation in its multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The Canopy Cancer Collective partners with leading health care institutions to create new patient-centric learning health networks, connecting top medical care providers, cancer researchers, and wellness specialists to formulate and foster best practices in cancer care all while empowering patients throughout their cancer journey. Mount Sinai is the only institution in New York City to receive this prestigious grant award and is among only 14 centers nationally.

Pancreatic cancer is called the "silent killer" because symptoms do not usually appear until it has already spread to other organs, leading to low survival rates. Pancreatic cancer is a complex disease that can affect each patient in different ways, both from the effects of the cancer itself and as a consequence of therapy, especially because multimodality therapy is often required.

Because of these complexities, multidisciplinary care is essential to achieving optimal outcomes for patients, underscoring the importance of the Canopy Cancer Collective grant award as well as two other important new milestones that further streamline pancreatic cancer patients' care at Mount Sinai. In April, Mount Sinai is launching the Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (Pancreas MDT) at Mount Sinai West, and The Tisch Cancer Institute is launching the Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer at Mount Sinai.

As one of the most experienced pancreatic disorders treatment programs in the United States, Mount Sinai is recognized for excellence in the management of pancreatic diseases by esteemed organizations such as the National Pancreas Foundation. The Canopy Cancer Collective grant award in combination with our Pancreatic Cancer Multidisciplinary Team and our Center of Excellence deepens our commitment to provide seamless patient-centric treatment of pancreatic cancer. We will provide the most comprehensive and compassionate care through a multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer team providing the highest-quality diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and care and access to innovative therapies through clinical trials."

Karyn A. Goodman, MD, MS, Professor and Vice Chair for Research and Quality in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, and Associate Director for Clinical Research, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai

The Pancreas MDT will have a team of specialists who are national leaders in the field who will provide the highest-quality diagnostic tools, treatment, and care for patients with pancreatic cancer. The team includes experts from gastroenterology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, and radiology, as well as nutritionists, social workers, and genetic counselors.

The team will deliver cutting-edge treatment for pancreatic cancer patients, informed by Mount Sinai's extensive translational research program. In a one-day visit with the multidisciplinary team, patients will receive an individualized treatment plan that would otherwise take weeks elsewhere.

Patients will also have access to innovative therapies through clinical trials at multiple locations throughout the Health System. Patients and their family members will also receive extensive supportive care services.

The Pancreas MDT will fall under the overall umbrella of the Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer at Mount Sinai, which is committed to streamlined, quality pancreatic cancer care. Dr. Goodman; Daniel Labow, MD; and Deirdre Cohen, MD, MS, will lead the Center of Excellence.

Together, they have internationally recognized expertise in radiation oncology, clinical trials, surgical oncology, and medical oncology, which will fuel the streamlined approach to team care across the health system. The Center is part of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. In 2021, Mount Sinai announced the establishment of the Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Center and the construction of a new state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Manhattan thanks to a generous donation by James S. and Merryl H. Tisch.

"At the Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer, we believe everyone deserves personalized and excellent care, so we develop an individualized treatment plan for our patients, using the latest technologies and advances," said Dr. Labow, who is also Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at the Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Cohen, who is also Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the Mount Sinai Health System, added, "Through this center, and our ongoing research, we will continue to make progress in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer, keeping a patient-centric focus to treat the whole person."

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