UC Davis Health expert available to discuss pancreatic cancer: Why it is so lethal, and why there is hope

The passing of Congressman John Lewis and recent update from Jeopardy host Alex Trebek renew focus on this rare but deadly cancer. 

Richard Bold, a leader of the University of California Pancreatic Cancer Consortium and physician-in-chief of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, is available to provide comment to the media on pancreatic cancer. This relatively rare type of cancer is one of the most lethal and difficult to treat. 

Pancreatic cancer recently claimed the life of civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis. On the previous day, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek provided an update on his progress, saying that if the current treatments for his pancreatic cancer do not work, he will stop. 

Facts from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute:

  • As a relatively rare type of cancer, pancreatic cancer does not make the list of top 10 cancers by incidence in the U.S.
  • However, it is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
  • 91% of pancreatic cancer patients do not survive five years.
  • Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose early when treatment can be most successful.
  • It is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years.

Bold and UC Davis Health scientist Julie Sutcliffe are developing new therapies for pancreatic cancer. The two were recently awarded funding of $4 million by the Pancreatic Cancer Collective as part of a “New Therapies Challenge Grant.” This is the group’s second award for Bold and Sutcliffe, who received an initial grant of $1 million in fall 2018 for research efforts to improve survival for people with pancreatic cancer.

Media Contact: Dr. Bold can be reached via UC Davis Health Senior Public Information Officer Karen Finney, 916-505-2601 (mobile) or [email protected].