• Posted Thursday November 2, 2017

Pancreatic cancer survivors featured Nov. 5 at TGen Step-N-Out 5K

Step-N-Out FUNdraiser seeks end to pancreatic cancer; builds on recent successful clinical trials for patients

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Nov. 2, 2017 - Three years ago, Saundra Forrest was told by a doctor to get her affairs in order; that there was no hope, no cure, for her late stage pancreatic cancer, the nation's third leading cause of cancer-related death.

Saundra had just completed an operation to remove much of the tumor. But that procedure also confirmed that the cancer had spread to her liver. She was told that chemotherapy would leave her with no quality of life.

Today, she has no detectable cancer and is thinking about running a marathon, thanks to new pancreatic cancer therapies advanced by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

This Sunday, Nov. 5, Saundra and other long-term pancreatic cancer survivors will celebrate along with nearly 1,000 participants organized by TGen at the 12th annual Step-N-Out FUNdraiser for pancreatic cancer research. For the fourth year, Step-N-Out will be at the Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Drive.

"Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Step-N-Out, the wonderful generosity of friends and volunteers - and the amazing work of doctors and researchers at TGen who saved my life - I now have no active cancer," Saundra said. "I feel that a cure is just right around the corner. I not only have hope for myself, but also for the many patients like me."

Not long ago, median survival for those with advanced pancreatic cancer was less than 6 months, and the 5-year survival rate was less than 10 percent. This year, more than 43,000 Americans will succumb to this aggressive disease, a number eclipsed only by lung and colon cancers.

Now, the statistics for pancreatic cancer are improving thanks to fundraising efforts like Step-N-Out, a family-friendly morning of races, music, games, and activities - including a photo booth and face painting - all celebrating TGen's efforts to stomp out this devastating cancer.

"The thousands of volunteers who join each year in Step-N-Out have kick-started the funding for innovative treatments devised by TGen and carried out with our clinical partners," said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation. "These generous runners and community leaders are bringing hope and answers to pancreatic cancer patients around the world, and each year they help accelerate the development of new and better treatments for pancreatic cancer."

Under the leadership of TGen Distinguished Professor Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, one of the world's leading experts on pancreatic cancer, TGen led a major international clinical trial that resulted in 2013 in FDA approval of nab-paclitaxel in combination with gemcitabine as the nation's standard of care for late stage pancreatic cancer. Subsequent and ongoing TGen-designed clinical trials - like the one in which Saundra participated at HonorHealth Research Institute in Scottsdale - are leading to more patients surviving years longer.

Competitive and fun races at Step-N-Out are geared for all ages and abilities, including the event's signature 5K run. Participants can still register at the event, which in past years has raised a total of more than $1 million. Participants don't have to be at stepNout to help. You can donate at events.tgen.org.


If you go to Step-N-Out:

What: TGen's 12th annual Step-N-Out FUNdraiser for pancreatic cancer research.
Where: Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Drive, northeast of Hayden and Bell roads, between Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.

When: 7:30-11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5.  Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.; a competitive 5K run begins at 9 a.m.; a fun 1-mile run/walk starts at 9:15 a.m.; a free 50-yard kids' dash is planned for 10:30 a.m.

Cost: Registration fees range from $15 to $35, depending on age. Children under 5 years old are free.
Parking: Free.
More information: Contact Lindsey Kent at [email protected] or (602) 343-8681.

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About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit).  TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer and diabetes treatment center: www.cityofhope.org. This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org. Follow TGen on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.

Media Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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