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TGen Seek Pancreatic-Cancer Patients for Trial


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One will be the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, by the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team, a worldwide consortium of 45 institutions led by TGen.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths, according to TGen. The trials will involve three treatments to attack the tumor cell, its support structure and its energy source.
The principal physician and investigator is Daniel Von Hoff, chief scientific officer at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare.

The trial is named Seena I, in honor of Seena Magowitz, a patient who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. Her son, Roger Magowitz, donated $1 million to the trial and has encouraged many of his business contacts in the mattress industry to support pancreatic-cancer research, TGen said.
Mattress Firm Foundation, in partnership with Simmons Bedding Co., earlier this year raised more than $400,000 to support clinical trials.

Magowitz said he has championed the research through his industry because he is optimistic that the disease can be beat.

"When my mother was diagnosed, if you had pancreatic cancer, you had one (treatment) choice," Magowitz said. "If you wanted to take chemo, it might prolong your life one to three months."
He said life expectancies have increased thanks to TGen research. In another recent trial, about half the patients lived at least a year, compared with about six months for those with advanced pancreatic cancer.

"If that was your loved one or your family member, that increase is almost monumental," Magowitz said. "We feel the cure will come with the money. We are moving the dial. It is a difficult disease to conquer. We feel the advancements that have been made have been monumental."

The 34 patients may be distributed in any amount among the four trial sites, which include the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute in Minneapolis, Evergreen Hematology and Oncology in Spokane, Wash., and the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center in Burbank, Calif.

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