We are saddened to hear of the passing of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who died of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET). She was a legend in the music industry and it is difficult to find the appropriate words to express our sadness of this loss.
“We understand the challenge and the pain that Ms. Franklin and her family endured as a result of her diagnosis,” says Elyse Gellerman, CEO of the NET Research Foundation. “These challenges drive all of us at the NET Research Foundation to fund research to find treatments and cures on behalf of the approximately 170,000 people in the US with neuroendocrine tumors.”
Since 2005, the NET Research Foundation has invested more than $20 million dollars in neuroendocrine tumor research. Neuroendocrine tumors are rare and misunderstood. It is an uncommon cancer that is underfunded and under-resourced.
The NET Research Foundation is the leading private funder of NET cancer research and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation is to fund research to discover cures and more effective treatments for neuroendocrine cancers. The NET Research Foundation awards large-scale, multi-year research grants to leading scientists at renowned research institutions around the world.
Here are the differences between pancreatic cancer and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
About the Pancreas
The pancreas is an organ that can be thought of as having two components – the exocrine pancreas and the endocrine pancreas.
The exocrine pancreas makes pancreatic enzymes and transports these enzymes in ducts that empty into the small intestine. These enzymes help your body digest the foods you eat. 95% of the cells in the pancreas serve an exocrine function.
The endocrine pancreas consists of endocrine cells that are arranged in “islets” and release hormones like insulin into the bloodstream.
Pancreatic Cancer and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer are two distinct cancers with distinct behaviors that originate in different types of cells in the pancreas.
What is Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer?
Pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer is a cancer that originates in the endocrine cells of the pancreas. Tumors that originate in the endocrine cells are referred to as “pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors” or “pancreatic islet cell tumors.”
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is a cancer of the exocrine pancreas and is often referred to as “pancreatic cancer” or “pancreatic adenocarcinoma.”