Hitting the Target in Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest to treat. However, three independent studies suggest a way.

Pancreatic cancer

Researchers are conducting clinical trials that use two drugs in tandem to thwart a mutated gene KRAS, that drives tumor growth in 95% of patients with pancreatic cancer.

KRAS is one of the most elusive targets in cancer research. This is because the KRAS protein lacks places where a small-molecule drug can bind and impair its function.

Mutant KRAS produce continuous growth signals, passed from one protein to the next, that results in a chain reaction called a signaling pathway. Over six of these pathways stem from KRAS. If one is impaired, the others can pick up the slack.

Researchers found that by eliminating the autophagy pathway that provides energy for the cancer cells at the same time that another drug indirectly targets KRAS, they can shrink pancreatic cancer tumors in mice. This is huge because the KRAS gene is mutated in 30% of all cancers, including some types of colorectal and lung cancer.

One clinical trial to explore this treatment is already enrolling participants. A second is expected to launch in the near future.

For more information, see National Cancer Institute http://www.NationalCancerInstitute.org


The Hair Thing

Hair loss can be traumatic for cancer patients. I didn’t lose all my hair after immunotherapy, but it was getting so thin that I debated whether to go bald, wear a scarf, or invest in a wig.

Cancer Patient Deals With Hair Loss

A wig can cost from forty to thousands of dollars. A number of organizations offer free wigs and scarves for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or radiation. Here are a few:

Friends Are By Your Side provides free wigs for women and children facing cancer all over the world. Check for the salon nearest you. They also provide styling services to help women feel in control of their appearance. 

Lolly’s Locks believes that looking good can help you feel good. They provide high-quality stylized wigs and even customized wigs free of cost. They have donated wigs to women in 47 states. 

The American Cancer Society accepts wig donations, which are collected for wig banks at their local chapters. Some wigs are distributed through ACS and some through local Look Good Feel Better meetings.

CancerCare is another source as part of their Women’s Cancer Program.

Some local affiliates of Susan G. Komen provide free wigs. 

Also, many cancer centers take donated wigs and make them available free of cost to those beginning breast cancer treatment. 

If you decide to wear a wig, go for it. Take advantage of these organizations and boost your self-confidence. 




When I stopped treatment for melanoma, I faced dilemmas. How do I recover my strength? And how, after being wrapped up in the pattern of blood work, infusions, CT scans, and doctor’s appointments, could I reinvent my life?

AwakenCARE offers a 90-day program for recovery. I wish I’d had this back in August.

Sara Gause worked for fifteen years in cancer care but realized there’s a huge gap between “Congratulations! You’re cancer free” and what happens next as survivors try to rebuild their lives. That’s where AwakenCARE comes in.

Through the program, the individual learns Mind Health by working on: reducing stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression, as well as eliminating the fear of cancer recurrence.

The second phase is Body Health. With Sara’s help, the individual works to eliminate side effects, achieve and maintain optimal weight, plan healthy meals, cleanse and reduce future toxin exposures, and exercise.

The third phase is Purpose. I felt rudderless after treatment. With this phase, the survivor discovers gratitude, takes inventory of emotional states, and lives with intention.

This isn’t an instant fix. This is a 90-day program that begins with a phone consultation in which Sara discusses options and pricing. Next is a one-hour intake appointment to help create a plan tailored to the individual.

From there, Sara helps survivors keep on track toward goals through motivation and coaching.

For more information, find Sara at http://www.AwakenCARE.com.