Northwell ‘walks’ for pancreatic cancer cure

BY NORTHWELL HEALTH | The Northwell Health Cancer Institute announced last week that it will serve as the presenting sponsor for the five Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Research Walks in the New York metropolitan area. Northwell will team with the Lustgarten Foundation in supporting community walks to increase awareness of the disease and promote early detection, treatment advances and innovative research.

The shared goal is to cure pancreatic cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of only 9 percent. More than 56,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year nationally and almost 46,000 will people will die from it.

A Lustgarten Walk will take place in Hudson River Park on Sun., March 31. The walks raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and funding for treatment and research for a cure.

The Lustgarten Walks offer patients, survivors and loved ones a day of hope, where everyone in the community can come together in the shared goal of raising awareness and funding for this incredibly challenging disease. The family-friendly walks, which include food, raffles and prizes from vendors, offer a sense of community to those who are battling this disease and a support system for survivors.

“With such low survival rates, there’s a tremendous need to collaborate with experts in this oncology specialty,” said Dr. Richard Barakat, physician-in-chief and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute and senior vice president of the health system’s Cancer Service Line. “We can only move toward a cure for pancreatic cancer through increased public awareness and collaboration on innovate research aimed at advancing more clinical trials for patients.”

Northwell will sponsor the following walks:

  • March 31, New York City: Pier 62 to Pier 63 in Hudson River Park. Meet at the carousel between W. 22nd and W. 23rd Sts. Participants will walk a 1.5-mile or 3-mile route to Pier 84, at W. 44th St., and back. The route is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Dogs are permitted in the park.
  • April 28, Westchester: Rye Playland Park
  • July 21, Brooklyn: Marine Park at Carmine Carro Community Center
  • Sept. 8, Staten Island: Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk
  • October 6, Long Island: Jones Beach State Park

“We are delighted to be partnering with Northwell Health for our walks in the New York metropolitan area,” said Kerri Kaplan, president and C.E.O. of the Lustgarten Foundation. “Not only do our walks raise critical funds, but they provide an opportunity for the pancreatic cancer community to come together for a day of hope and inspiration.”

David Tuveson, M.D., P.h.D., Lustgarten’s chief scientist and the director of the Cancer Center and the Lustgarten Foundation Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), and his team are collaborating with Northwell physicians to create pancreatic cancer organoid models from patient tumors. Organoids, which were developed by the Lustgarten Foundation Laboratory at CSHL, are three-dimensional cell-culture systems that reproduce a patient’s tumor to test it repeatedly with different drugs.

Northwell and CSHL have successfully completed their first organoid research study. The next step will be to enroll patients in a nationwide organoid clinical trial in which Northwell will participate and that will be funded by the Lustgarten Foundation.

The Northwell Health Cancer Institute is in the early stages of developing a comprehensive pancreatic cancer center. The program’s major components will include surgical, radiation and medical oncology, interventional gastroenterology, pathology, radiology, endocrinology, palliative oncology, cancer genetics, nutritional counseling, social work and other services.

To register for any of the walks, visit: or call 866-789-1000.

To learn more about the Lustgarten walk program, view this video:

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, nearly 700 outpatient facilities and more than 13,600 affiliated physicians.

The Lustgarten Foundation is America’s largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research. Based in Woodbury, NY, the foundation supports research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, facilitates dialogue within the medical and scientific community, and educates the public about the disease through awareness campaigns and fundraising events.

Since its inception, the Lustgarten Foundation has directed $165 million to research and assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure can be found. Of every donation, 100 hundred percent goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. For more information, visit

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