The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

The National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry

From the Desk of Rodney Van Johnson

Dear Friend:
I'm writing you today because we've both had loved ones stricken by pancreas cancer -- I lost my uncle to the disease when he was only in his early 50's. As an African-American male, I'm already at higher risk for developing the disease, and want to get the word out to families like yours, who also may be at higher risk, about the importance of research being done today at Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the world's most respected medical centers, which has established the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry (the NFPTR) in order to determine a cause of pancreas cancer. And because of our genetic link to the disease, you and I may hold the key that can help researchers find a cure.

Rodney Van Johnson

Already, the NFPTR has enrolled nearly 600 families, and early research has already indicated that there are genetic factors that place some families at increased risk for pancreatic cancer. But more research and more families, like yours, like mine, are needed to participate.

All you have to do is provide some information about your family's medical history. It will only take a small amount of your time, but could have a huge impact in defeating this disease that’s already had too great an affect on both our lives. And you should be aware of risk factors you can control to decrease your risk, such as smoking and diet.

Cancer of the pancreas is the 4th leading cause of cancer death, but if caught early, it can be successfully treated. Unfortunately, doctors don't yet know what causes the disease and there are no early detection screening tests available, so it often goes undetected until it's too late. But the NFPTR is working to change all that. Finding the genetic link can help researchers at John Hopkins develop an accurate screening test, so doctors can not only treat the disease, but one day, be able to prevent and cure it. That's why their research and your participation is so vitally important.

If you'd like to register with the NFPTR or get more information on the Registry and what you should know about pancreatic cancer, check out their website at pathology.jhu.edu/pancreas and get a FREE copy of the NFPTR Newsletter. Or call the NFPTR at (410) 955-9790.

Please, won't you join me in joining the NFPTR? Together, we can help the doctors at Johns Hopkins find the cause and find a cure. The life you help save may be your own, or someone you love.

Thank you and God bless you and your family.

Sincerely,
Rodney Van Johnson